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Rare butterfly spotted in Norfolk

Rare butterfly spotted in Norfolk

Published by KLFM
9:55am 12th May 2020.

We're being asked to keep an eye out for a very rare butterfly, which has been spotted again in Norfolk.

It's hoped the Large Tortoiseshell variety is making a comeback in the UK and Butterfly Conservation volunteers are reporting 11 sightings of the insect across Norfolk and Suffolk recently.

Kiri Stuart-Clarke, volunteer for Butterfly Conservation's Norfolk Branch said:

"This is an incredibly exciting discovery for 2020 and we can't wait to see how many further sightings are recorded over the coming months. We don't yet know the reasons for the re-emergence of the Large Tortoiseshell into the UK but the more data we have the better.

"We're asking the public to help us by recording any sightings they make. The weather and wind direction has been favourable for immigration so they could pop up just about anywhere. If you are lucky enough to spot a Large Tortoiseshell either in your own garden or while on your daily exercise you can record your sightings and contribute to our data. Go to www.butterfly-conservation.org/mysightings to download the iRecord app. And don't forget to share a picture of your sighting too.

"It's important to provide a positive identification when submitting a recording as it could be easy to mis-identify the butterfly as a Small Tortoiseshell or Comma. The native Small Tortoiseshell is obviously much smaller, while the Large Tortoiseshell also has distinguishing features including uneven forewing bars, an extra black forewing spot and is a paler orange in colour.

'We know that it's highly likely that people might spot these species in their gardens over the coming weeks. Other European countries such as Holland are seeing the best emergence of this species for 40 years."

Large Tortoiseshll Butterfly

Ian Griffin, a butterfly enthusiast who lives in North Norfolk said:

"I was on local walk as part of my daily exercise and came across a Large Tortoiseshell butterfly in a churchyard in Melton Constable. Luckily, I had my camera with me and was able to take a picture. I didn't realise it was such a special butterfly to spot until I looked back at the pictures the following morning and could make a positive identification. What an exciting find!"