Vanessa movements and Peck's skipper

Morten DD Hansen dd at
Sun Jun 3 06:26:37 EDT 2001


I fully agree with Patrick on his excellent review of Baker's and Dingle's
leading text books. I just need no emphasize that northward migrations in spring
and southward migrations in autumn of Vanessa atalanta and Vanessa cardui are
fully integrated parts of the life cycles of these two species. However, the
magnitude (ie. size of the populations) vary strongly, probably up to a
1000-fold, between the years, but this is more due to climatic factors than to
the true nature of the migratory behaviour.

In Europe, the northward migration of Vanessa atalanta has been very poor indeed
due to very low temperatures all over the continent (-4 degrees C below seasonal
average!). In early spring there were massive NW-migrations of Vanessa cardui in
Iraq, Syria, Saudi-Arabia and Cyprus, but no migrations have yet been sighted in
N Europe.

kind regards from a very cold Denmark
Morten DD Hansen

homepage on migrating birds and butterflies
e-mail: dd at


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