Autumn butterflies

Bright yellow butterfly with green eyes on a dandelion flower
Clouded Yellow. Photo: George McCabe

The current spell of good weather, without the intense heat and drought of the summer, is bringing out the butterflies which are still on the wing at this time of year.George McCabe has reported six Clouded Yellows on the Weymouth Relief Road cutting, so we are hoping there may be more – please keep your eyes open and let us know via our recording page. The Clouded Yellow is a migrant, so we have varying numbers coming over from year to year.

We’d like to know all the butterflies you see in late September and October. It’s been an odd year, and the butterflies we all see round our gardens: Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Brimstone, for example, have not always been around in their usual numbers, so if any of them are being seen now, it would be helpful to know.

Reddish-brown butterfly with blue markings on ivy flowers

Peacock. Photo: George McCabe

We will not know exactly how the butterflies have fared until we do the analysis of this year’s recording, but the website records show the ‘garden’ species generally well down the list – have a look at the ‘Top butterflies’ chart on the Sightings summary for 2018.  Do note that you can see the exact numbers reported by hovering over any of the slices in the pie chart.

There is probably some reporting bias in that people are more likely to make the effort to record a rare species on the website than a common one, but the results are still interesting. Who would have thought we would have more records of Silver-studded Blue than Large White, or of Silver-washed Fritillary than Peacock?



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