Record-breaking summer weather has helped huge increase numbers of the common blue butterfly, which has been struggling for the last forty years, through the most recent figures.
Common blue butterflies increased by 104% throughout last year’s summer heatwave, and specialists hope the hot weather will see numbers continue to rise.
The common blue species, which is the UK’s most widespread kind of blue butterfly, is set to appear in record-breaking numbers this August following Met office forecasts for high temperatures, says wildlife charity the Butterfly Conservation.
Butterfly Conservation’s Senior Surveys Officer, Dr. Zoe Randle, said: “In England last year, the butterfly’s numbers were up 110th from 2017 and in Wales, their numbers were up 94 for the same period. However, numbers of the first brood which emerged in June were slightly down on last year, therefore it'll be interesting to see how the second brood rising in August will respond to the heatwave."
“It would help the US if people might get outside and look for this butterfly, so we can see if its fortunes have turned around or if the common blue still desires our help.”
What does the common blue butterfly seem like and where are they found?
The common blue butterfly has bright blue upper wings that are either unmarked or marked with orange crescents, replying to the sex of the butterfly. Their underwings have white and black spots.
The species is not typically found in gardens but grasslands and dunes. It favors sunny sheltered spots and is usually spotted in urban areas.
How can I get involved?
Visitors to National Parks are being inspired to note any sightings of the butterfly during visits this year, and record their findings with the large Butterfly Count.
Corinne Pluchino, Chief executive of Campaign for National Parks said: “This is a good chance to help chart the progress of this stunning blue butterfly and we’d love to know where our top Common Blue colonies are."
“We’d also like to have a better plan of the other butterfly species our sites are supporting, so please let us recognize what you find.”