Just arrived from Morocco

Photo of a Painted Lady butterfly in the UK

Painted Lady butterfly

This Painted Lady butterfly has been in the garden all morning – she’s looking a bit battered around the wing tips – but given that she’s just flown here from Morocco I reckon she’s in pretty good nick!

Their migration to and from Africa across the Mediterranean, Spain, France, over the Channel and into the UK is considered to be one of nature’s greatest journeys.

Over the next couple of months time she’ll breed in the UK and her offspring will fly back to Africa. That’s a pretty amazing 9,000 mile round journeys – not bad when you only weigh the same as a couple of paperclips 🖇 🦋 😃

The Painted Lady migration has traditionally been surrounded in mystery because nobody quite knew what happened to Painted Ladies in the autumn. Using radar techniques researchers tracked Painted Ladies flying back to Africa at altitudes of more than 500 metres and at speeds of 30 mph. Mystery over! But what an amazing feat for such tiny creature.

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