Cynthia and Vanessa herald the warm end to summer

Late this summer Ireland, and presumably the UK, witnessed an influx of Painted lady butterflies (Cynthia cardui). Swarms of them descended in August, presumably from Spain from which they migrate north. We did not seem to have the masses land here in northern Wexford but there were plenty around and there are still lots to be seen.

They do not breed this far north which make you wonder by they bother to make the long journey except to find nectar. They traditionally like thistles but in the garden single dahlias and rudbeckias seems to be suitable substitutes.

They are certainly beautiful and very welcome in the garden.

A better known visitor is the Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) . I only saw one specimen with a damaged wing when I had my camera out but it was busy foraging in the unseasonably warm and sunny weather this week. I hope they have built up good reserves of food since the week ahead is forecast to be wetter and windier.




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5 Comments on “Cynthia and Vanessa herald the warm end to summer”

  1. Lisa@LismorePaper
    September 21, 2019 at 7:13 am #

    Such beautiful butterflies. I often wonder how these beauties weather the harsh storms.

  2. Jackie Knight
    September 21, 2019 at 7:54 am #

    Lovely photo’s.

  3. digwithdorris
    September 22, 2019 at 8:55 am #

    Delightful ! I didn’t know that we had more than normal this year.

  4. Meriel
    September 22, 2019 at 3:47 pm #

    I didn’t notice any more than usual either, less if anything!

    • thebikinggardener
      September 22, 2019 at 6:32 pm #

      That is strange. The press here was full of stories about the swarms of them arriving. As I said I did not see these but we have had quite a few.

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