Exotic migrant butterflies colonise the UK09/10/2013 15:53:09 Long-tailed blue butterfly and unusual moths here in numbers
October 2013. UKIP and the Mail would not be happy; some foreigners have been arriving here in large numbers. Exotic butterflies and moths from the Continent are attempting to colonise the UK following this year's warm summer and mild autumn.
Long-tailed Blue butterfly
There has also been a recent increase in sightings of the very rare migrant - the Rosy Underwing. Prior to this summer, this large moth has only been seen on 10 occasions in Britain. The latest sightings raise the tantalising prospect that the moth is now locally resident.
Butterfly Conservation Surveys Manager Richard Fox, said: "These sightings are very exciting news, not only for the people lucky enough to see these thrilling butterflies and moths in the wild but also for the future.
"The hot summer enabled Long-tailed Blues and other migratory butterflies to spread northwards into Britain, capitalising on opportunities to breed here while the weather remains warm.
May not survive the winter
Dorset County Moth Recorder Les Hill has seen three separate Clifden Nonpareil moths in the past two weeks in the same part of south Dorset. He said: "Clifden Nonpareil is one of the most charismatic of British moth fauna and is on every moth recorders' ‘wish list'. As the name nonpareil states, it is peerless and has no equal. To record one in a lifetime is the fulfilment of an ambition; to record them every year in my garden is just remarkable"
The traditional autumn moth migration is now well underway with the largest number of Vestal moths entering the UK for half a century. The delicately patterned Vestal is typically found in North Africa and Southern Europe and this autumn has been found as far north as Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Higher than average numbers of the exotic Crimson Speckled moth, which is usually found in North Africa and Southern Europe, have also been recorded along the south coast.