Comma butterfly is thriving again

alibhai/ July 30, 2017/ New Gadgets/ 0 comments

  • The British Comma butterfly came dangerously close to extinction a century ago
  • It was only found in a few counties in the Welsh borders and south-east England 
  • Butterflies have spread 250 miles since the 1970s throughout England and Wales

A British butterfly is flying high again after coming back from the brink of extinction.

The Comma, named for the white punctuation mark shape on the underside of its wings, was close to dying out a century ago.

Its caterpillars ate hops, but numbers fell as hop-farming declined with the loss of village breweries.

The Comma, named for the white punctuation mark shape on the underside of its wings, was close to dying out a century ago

The Comma, named for the white punctuation mark shape on the underside of its wings, was close to dying out a century ago

However the Comma adapted to eat nettles instead, and so has made an extraordinary comeback, with a 138 per cent population rise in the last 40 years alone.

Once it was only found in a few counties in the Welsh borders and south-east England – but now it is one of the few species increasing its range.

The butterflies, which look like a withered leaf when resting, have spread 250 miles since the 1970s throughout England and Wales, to the Isle of Man and even southern Scotland.

Commas can be found feeding on bramble, thistles and knapweed along rivers. They are believed to have benefited from the changing climate, needing the warmth of the sun to be active.

The butterflies, which look like a withered leaf when resting, have spread 250 miles since the 1970s throughout England and Wales, to the Isle of Man and even southern Scotland

The butterflies, which look like a withered leaf when resting, have spread 250 miles since the 1970s throughout England and Wales, to the Isle of Man and even southern Scotland

Conservationists now want to keep track of their numbers as part of the Big Butterfly Count, which encourages people to spot and record butterflies during three weeks of summer until August 6. 

Sir David Attenborough, president of Butterfly Conservation, said: ‘The Comma is one of our most exquisite butterflies, and hearteningly is also something of a butterfly success story.’





Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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