Poor butterflies :(( and a question for some people

David Chesmore e.d.chesmore at eng.hull.ac.uk
Wed Sep 27 04:40:47 EDT 2000

It is interesting that, while Neil Jones reports there has been a general
decline in butterflies in the UK, some species have undergone rapid
expansions, particularly in the North of England.  Two species that come to
mind are the Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and the Marbled White
(Melanargia galathea).  The Speckled Wood has recently (last year and this)
been recorded in East Yorkshire and appears to be expanding eastward.

The Marbled White, confined to the chalk on the Yorkshire Wolds has been
colonising many new sites over the past decade and there are records some
distance from the Wolds.  This species is interesting in that pre-1900
records exist for sightings many km away from the Wolds; it then declined
until there was only 1-2 known locailities in the 1960's.  It began
expanding again in the 1970's and 1980's.  The reasons for such changes are
not known.

Another species doing well in my part of England is the Wall butterfly.
Many have been seen.

It is also worthwhile noting that quite a few moth species have been
expanding their ranges in recent years.


Dr David Chesmore, FRES, MIAgrE
School of Engineering
University of Hull
Hull, HU6 7RX
Tel: +1482 465062
Fax: +1482 466664

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