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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Migrating Butterflies; Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, Butterflies

In a Glengarriff Woods I spotted this late Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, 7 days ago. It was fuelling up for its long journey south, or was it? Like its Thistle loving cousin, the Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui, the Red Admiral is also a migrant species. Scientists and wildlife enthusiasts, however, are still wondering why it is that we do not see a mass migration out of Ireland and UK like the large numbers of Butterflies we saw this spring, coming into these islands. This topic was raised in Autumnwatch too, recently. As a result of the discussions and the scientific research, viewers have been asked to help in leaving a mark on the inter-active map, of where they have seen Autumn Painted Lady Butterflies in the UK, Ireland, Scotland or Wales. There are also charts to mark sightings of the Hummingbird HawkMoth, Macroglossum stellatarum. There have been a great many sightings; on the North European mainland also. This month only two Irish sightings; one in Northern Ireland near Maghera and the other was sighted around Clifden in Connemara in the West of Ireland.

But what of the Red Admiral Butterfly? Although a migrant species from North Africa and the Med, Butterfly Conservation stated that recently the speie has been found overwintering in the south of the UK.
Here in Ireland? I don't know yet. I still have to start looking for an answer to this. I assume many do spend the wintermonths down south, in Ireland too. If you look at the scientific name for the Red Admiral- Vanessa atalanta- it has always been a migratery Butterfly, assuming that atalanta can only really mean, Atlantic?

Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
Glengarriff Woods
Glengarriff Woods, County Cork
Glengarriff Woods, County Cork
Last week I spotted the one above in Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve, and tthe two Butterflies in these pictures I spotted over last weekend, down here at home. A new yapper (small dog) at one of neighbours, kept jumping up at my legs and its yapping/running about meant that the Butterflies got really 'jumpy' and scared of the ***beast. It runs about as a young pup, and I suspect it is. I just get very annoyed with it, everytime I get out of my gate and it starts running in front of my front wheels. I cannot jump onto a road from the path, or the other way around, to avoid this noisemaker,
, County Cork
County Cork
County Cork

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