Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

My nomination for butterfly of the year 2009! At one point back in late May Butterfly Conservation were estimating over 2 million were coming in across the Channel every day!

The Painted Lady is an immigrant species, the eggs and larva that are laid in the Autumn by those that come to our shores each year cannot survive the British winter. Each year is different with some years hardly any coming and other years quite a lot but it is thought we have never seen anything quite like this year.

This incredible influx raises two questions. Why so many this year and do some actually turn round and go back as the summer comes to an end? Butterfly Conservation hope to let us have the answers to these quite soon.

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