Painted ladies swarm into Suffolk
SWARMS of stunning ladies have arrived in Ipswich.Painted Lady butterflies have arrived in their hundreds from continental Europe and Africa.The orange insect with its spectacular black and white markings is not an uncommon sight in Ipswich over the summer months, but the sheer scale of sightings this year could break records.
SWARMS of stunning ladies have arrived in Ipswich.
Painted Lady butterflies have arrived in their hundreds from continental Europe and Africa.
The orange insect with its spectacular black and white markings is not an uncommon sight in Ipswich over the summer months, but the sheer scale of sightings this year could break records.
One observer saw more than 400 of the winged wonders near the town and butterfly conservationists are excited at the prospect of a bumper year.
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Rob Parker, chairman of the Suffolk branch of the Butterfly Conservation organisation said: "The county has been flooded out with Painted Ladies this year with sightings in their hundreds across the county.
"We hope to see even more as the summer continues."
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The number of butterflies varies annually but an invasion on this scale has not occurred since 1996 when the Painted Lady made national news headlines.
The Painted Lady migrates northwards every year with its final location dependent on wind direction.
The butterflies are usually found on the south coast, but this year they are abundant in Suffolk where they lay eggs on thistles and as the eggs are currently hatching, sightings are likely to increase even further.