Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

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Jack Harrison
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Re: Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

Postby Jack Harrison » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:59 pm

Several commentators have said that the influx on 2014 and subsequent overwintering of a handful was below the threshold need to establish Scarce Tortoiseshell as a breeding species in UK.

Few would argue in favour of a deliberate introduction. However, would a helping hand be ethical? For example, say some successfully overwintering adults that had arrived here under their own steam the previous summer were rounded up and released somewhere to form a core colony, would that be acceptable? I am not saying I am in favour but merely asking a question (and trying to start a debate in these dull later autumn days – stirring by any other name!)

Jack

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MikeOxon
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Re: Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

Postby MikeOxon » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:15 pm

Taking up the debate ... I suppose the problem with a 'helping hand' is that it would confound any studies of how the species might be responding to changes in the natural environment. I feel that it would be interesting to see if this species (and/or others) does establish itself 'naturally' over the coming years.

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Tony Moore
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Re: Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

Postby Tony Moore » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:23 pm

I second that! Leave and let live :mrgreen: .

Tony M.

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David M
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Re: Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

Postby David M » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:33 pm

Does this species have core colonies though? They usually disperse quite widely as far as I know, so any 'helping hand' would presumably have short lived results?

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Jack Harrison
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Re: Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

Postby Jack Harrison » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:52 pm

I only had in mind the butterfly equivalent of a "Lonely Hearts Club" :D

I'm not suggesting it is necessarily a good idea but....a fun discussion in dreary dull November. Don't take it too seriously.

Jack

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David M
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Re: Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

Postby David M » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:08 pm

Dating for butterflies? Your compassion has reached new heights, Jack! :)

Must admit, I do feel for those poor male Brimstones flying endlessly on cold days in early March in the (probably) vain pursuit of a mate.

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Tony Moore
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Re: Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

Postby Tony Moore » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:29 am

It's going to be a long winter... :mrgreen: .

Tony M.

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Vince Massimo
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Re: Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

Postby Vince Massimo » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:19 pm

Topic Update

Another historic sighting has now been discovered in old images. The report comes from Peter Willmott, who photographed a Scarce Tortoiseshell at Salcey Forest, Northants on 9th March 2014. This date implies that the butterfly overwintered here and must have arrived in the UK during the summer of 2013, thus pre-dating the observed main influx of this species into Britain in 2015.

Salcey Forest, Northants  9-March-2014 Peter Willmott.jpg
Peter Willmott 9-March-2014

A fuller account of the sighting can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=9248#p117327

Vince

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David M
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Re: Scarce Tortoiseshell sighting!

Postby David M » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:18 pm

How I'd love this insect to establish itself in the UK!


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