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Rare butterfly found in Wiltshire

Posted on 05th August 2015

The caterpillar of a rare white-letter hairstreak butterfly has been found for the first time ever in some woods in Wiltshire.

Rare Butterfly

The white-letter hairstreak butterfly has been added to the at-risk register of plants and animals as a result of the problematic Dutch elm disease that has spread across the UK, but recently a visitor to Clouts Wood in Wiltshire discovered a small green larva.

The county is renowned for being home to an array of wildlife and this latest discovery is expected to further attract nature lovers to stay in Wiltshire holiday cottages this summer and catch a glimpse of this beautiful insect.

This particular butterfly has been declining rapidly across the UK in recent years. The caterpillars feed on the flower buds and leaves of elm trees, and the recent outbreak of Dutch elm disease has had a huge knock-on effect for the white-letter hairstreak butterflies.

Reserves field officer Ellie Jones for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, who run Clouts Wood, told the Swindon Advertiser, “Our ongoing management will now focus on protecting and enhancing habitat for this species at the reserve and adjacent Kings Farm Wood.”

Image Credit: Aah-Yeah (flickr.com)