A striking butterfly has emerged on the South Coast of England in record numbers, for the second time in three years.

Since August this year, the Long-tailed Blue butterfly has been seen on the South Coast, with more than 60 recorded sightings. This is believed to be the second largest emergence of the butterfly in UK history.

The first recorded sighting in Britain was in 1859, but the following 80 years saw only 30 adult sightings being recorded. There were a few larger influxes which occurred in 1945 and 1990, but these were minimal when compared to 2013, when 109 sightings were recorded between July and October.

This variety of butterfly migrates from the Mediterranean, but usually only a handful make the long journey. However, the past few years have seen more and more migrating, reaching our shores more regularly and in greater numbers.

The male variety is a beautifully striking violet-blue colour (pictured), whilst the female is a duller blue and brown mix. It gets its name from “tails” located on the back edge of each of its hindwings. Above these are eye spots, which can fool birds into thinking this is the head of the butterfly, rather than the tail end, helping them to escape. 

The chances of spotting the beautiful creature may be rare, but you will have an increased chance of seeing them near our Waterside holiday park, so keep your eyes peeled! The Butterfly Conservation have asked any sightings of them to be reported to info@butterfly-conservation.org in order to track their numbers.


Photo courtesy of coniferconifer on Flickr, under Creative Commons