One of the great delights of the Spring is the emergence of the butterflies. A moving kaleidoscope of colour amongst the freshly blooming flowers. Down around the Mediterranean you can find Plain Tigers and Swallowtails as well as a host of others.
This is a gallery of the species that I observed in Crete over the many years that I spent there.
Up here in Cumbria, they are beginning to appear too. Some of them have overwintered, like the slightly battered looking peacock, but some have newly hatched, like these Small Tortoiseshells which are already courting. #courtship is one of the themes in this month's European Nature Almanack so I'd love to see your pictures.
Look out also for caterpillars. You will often find them on specific food plants. Swallowtails, for instance, simply adore fennel, whereas Small Tortoiseshells prefer a diet of stinging nettles.
If butterflies are your thing then here are a couple of books that you may like to take a look at, and an item that no entomologist should be without: a sweep net! Butterflies and moths are also featured in The Quick Guide To Creepy-Crawlies on pages 40-41.
All of the books featured on my posts are now available to view, by category, on one page: Build Your Own Nature Library
All the best,
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