Comma butterflies in Scotland

Photo by Woodland Trust

The comma butterfly is an orange and brown butterfly with a small white comma-like shape on each wing. It was previously only found in south east England and Wales, but in the last 40 years its population has flourished further north.

The comma has been spotted in many parts of my region, across the Scottish Borders and Lothians, and as far north as Inverness. For the first time ever, the comma was spotted in East Lothian at Pressmennan Wood. The comma has adapted to changing landscapes – once associated with the hop plant, it now specialises on the stinging nettle, which is commonly found across the country. Warmer temperatures from climate change has also driven the comma further north.

It is always a delight to see a butterfly in the wild. I am the Species Champion for the Forester Moth – an exquisite emerald green moth that can be found in parts of Scotland (if you are luckier than me!)

Until the 6th August, you can help contribute to the world’s largest butterfly survey – the Big Butterfly Count. All it takes is to pick a sunny spot outside for 15 minutes, and note any butterflies you see.

Check out www.bigbutterflycount.org for more information.

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