Country diary 1922: a clouded yellow butterfly year

15. srpna 2022 9:45


18 August 1922: From time to time the butterflies increase so enormously in their native home - north Africa and southern Europe - that they seek fresh pastures in EnglandThe clouded yellow butterfly is one of those interesting insects which from time to time increase so enormously in their native home - in this case northern Africa and southern Europe - that they must seek fresh pastures. When the surplus population travels westward, which it usually does, many are met with in our southern shires, and though this year cannot compare with the "great Edusa year? of 1877, it is without doubt a clouded yellow year. In spring I saw many of these immigrants in Berkshire, Surrey, and Hants, and heard of others in Devon. They evidently laid eggs on our clover or lucerne, and the home-reared broods have spread north; quite a number have been seen and captured in Cheshire.So far I have not heard of any of the closely allied pale clouded yellow, which often appears with the commoner insect, but a friend who signs himself "your special correspondent in the Bavarian Tyrol? writes that it is plentiful there. He also refers to the painted lady, another migratory species that was unusually abundant in spring; those on the wing now have probably done their share in reducing the number of our thistles, for that troublesome plant is the favourite food of the painted lady caterpillar, which spins itself a protective silken screen and within this tent devours the leaf. Continue reading...


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