-> 2009 -> Good Year for Islay's Marsh Fritillaries?

Wednesday, 29/Apr/2009

Good Year for Islay's Marsh Fritillaries?

Picture of a Marsh Fritillary on some grassland

Many people will know Islay as a heaven for birdlife and to an extent wildlife. May be not so well known is the fact that it is also quite important for butterflies and moth. Some readers might remember the entry about Marsh Fritillaries (Butterflies) on Islay I wrote back in October 2007. Something we saw during the second half of WalkIslay two weeks ago could be an encouraging sign for this summers Marsh Fritillary population. These were only a tiny fraction of what we saw:

Picture of a dozen caterpillars on a young girls hand

During James How's walk from Ardnave to Sanaigmore we came across a very large number of small black caterpillars, the larvae of the Marsh Fritillary. There were probably hundreds, may be thousands of them in one area. James said he had never seen that many before. We had to be quite careful at times not to step on to them until we had left the area where they were.

Let's hope many of them will develop into this rare and beautiful butterfly this summer on Islay.

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