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Hibernating butterflies in your house?

23/11/2010 15:24:13
butterflies/tortoiseshell indoor wx/tortoiseshell_indoor_wx

Small tortoiseshell butterfly in the Wildlife Extra office in winter.

Butterfly hibernation - Courtesy of Butterfly Conservation

November 2010. Apart from the occasional Red Admiral, it is very unlikely that you will see any butterflies in November & December. Most will be tucked away in vegetation, either as eggs, caterpillars or pupae.

Adult hibernation
However there are five UK butterflies that hibernate as adults: the Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Peacock and Red Admiral. Two of these butterflies, the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock, can sometimes be found hibernating in your house and may have been disturbed too early by your heating!

If you find a hibernating butterfly, you can gently remove it and put it somewhere that is unheated and sheltered from the elements, such a garden shed. Remember though that it will need to be a place from which the butterfly can escape in the spring, when it wakes up from its long sleep.

Other indoor wildlife
Wildlife Extra has a long list of 'indoor wildlife', but it isn't all hibernating. However this Herald Moth was seen at the same time as the Small tortoiseshell butterfly above, December 2010 when it was -5 outside.

Herald moth in the Wildlife Extra office 


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