Camberwall Beauty

Andrew Daw andrewd at
Thu Jun 4 08:17:29 EDT 1998

> hi - just returned a library book today that said the "Camberwall Beauty"
> was 'our'  "Mourning Cloak" ( _Nymphalis antiopa_) ?! is this in reference
> to a basically very dark butterfly with creamy yeallow wing margins -
> sharyn f - concord ca  usa>

Yep, that's the one.  In fact the name is Camberwell (note the 'e') named
after a district of London (UK).  This was were it was first described in
the UK (the place was a little village outside London at the time).  The
butterfly was also called the Mourning Cloak at the time as it was traditional
for people in mourning to wear dark (preferably black) clothing.

This butterfly is not (yet ?) resident in the UK as it couldn't cope with our
mild damp winters.  The butterfly is listed in our books as a vagrant, that
occasionally makes it to our shores from Norway, where it is resident.  About
three years ago we had a super summer where the trailing winds were just right
and many Nymphalis antiopa were transported across the North Sea to Norfolk.
There had been a bumper season in Norway and many adults were seen flying out
to sea.  All together some 300 sightings of the butterfly were seen that year
throughout the UK, but mostly on the Eastern side of the country.  Unfortunatly
I didn't see a single one, missing several sightings by being not quite in
the right place at not quite the right time.  There have been regular sightings
of the odd Camberwell Beauty or two ever since.  It has not been established
yet whether these are UK bred stock or further immigrants.  We are keeping
our fingers crossed.

The Queen of Spain fritillary (Issoria lathonia) has been seen regulary at one
location in the UK for about three or four years on the trot.  The location is
in a nature reserve on the Eastern side of the country.  Again it has only been
the adult stage which has been seen, but it is considered as only a matter of
time before we can add this one to the British list.

Other species have bred in the UK for a while, either due to favourable
migration conditions, or due to (illegal) releases, but usually don't last
more than a couple of years (at best).

*           ____                                                  *
*          //   \    Butterfly Conservation (UK)                  *
*  o  o   //  0 |    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                  *
*   \ |  //  . ,|    East Midlands Branch : Field Trip Organiser. *
*    \| //_____ /    West Country  Branch : Committee Member.     *
*    \O)//   . \                                                  *
*      ##\    ; |    Newsletter Illustrator.                      *
*     / 7-\____/                                                  *
*    / /  \_                                                      *
*                                                                 *
* Andrew Daw                   tel  :  +44 (0)1454 207 800        *
* Redac Systems Ltd            email:  andrewd at        *
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