Butterfly sightings called for

A speckled wood
A speckled wood

Members of the public are being asked to look out for a special type of butterfly known to have already reached the Stranraer area.

Butterfly Conservation needs is seeking help in tracking the expansion of one of Scotland’s most rapidly spreading butterflies.

The Speckled Wood is expanding its range south from warm refuges around the Moray Firth and the west coast that were colonised centuries ago and remained occupied, while the rest of Scotland became colder and unsuitable.

The Speckled Wood is consequently moving towards the centre of Scotland from the north, west, south west and south east.

Paul Kirkland, Director of Butterfly Conservation Scotland, said: “It is thought that the west coast and Moray Speckled Woods are a different subspecies to those from England - they have certainly been separated for a very long time - so it will be interesting to see what happens when they meet up in the Central Belt, perhaps in the next 10 years or so.”

The distinctive butterfly of sunny, open woodland can be seen in sunny glades in woodland, as its name suggests.

As part of the Year of Nature, Butterfly Conservation Scotland is asking the public to help them track the movement of this species.

Much research has been done on the butterfly’s behaviour and its reaction to climate warming and the records sent in by the public greatly help scientists carrying out their research.

Records can be submitted online at www.butterfly-conservation.org/scottishspeckledwood