Spring has finally arrived and with it come flowers. And once we have flowers, we suddenly start seeing butterflies too. Butterflies love two things – flowers and sunshine!
Ireland has 32 resident and 3 regular migrant species. All butterflies have a four stage life-cycle; egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis) and adult butterfly. Some butterflies over-winter as adults (sleeping somewhere sheltered, like old barns) and some overwinter as pupa.
Green veined white on ragged robin
The green veined white butterfly in the above photograph would have emerged from a pupa that had over-wintered.
While the peacock butterfly in the photo below would have hibernated over winter as an adult. You can see that it’s colours are a little bit dull.
These are the caterpillars of a peacock butterfly. The caterpillars feed on nettles.
This is one of my favourite fun crafts. All you need is card, craft sticks, glue, pompoms, coloured pipecleaners, stickers
Try this peacock colouring sheet or this tortoiseshell one.
Butterfly spotter Guides
Use this Nature Detective spotter guide to help you identify butterflies you see.
See also Wildlife Watch Guides
Both good for UK and Ireland
For online guide to butterflies of North America see here.
Butterfly Life Cycle
Learn all about the Butterfly Life Cycle here.
Butterfly Conservation Ireland
Irish Butterflies website
Butterfly Conservation UK