In pictures: UK butterflies (part four)
The weather's put a bit of a dampener on the Big Butterfly Count, though the good news is that by yesterday there had still been an impressive 4,500 counts. There's still another week and a half to go so let's all do the opposite of a rain dance. In the meantime, it's time for part four of our guide to all the UK's species using photos from the Springwatch and Summerwatch photo groups: painted lady to (the enchantingly named) silver-washed fritillary.
Real's wood white/cryptic wood white © Robert Thompson/Butterfly Conservation*
*This was the only species that wasn't on our Flickr groups, so thanks to Butterfly Conservation for supplying us with a photo of one. You'll notice it's been labelled with two names: real's wood white and cryptic wood white. It's actually the latter and there's a great story behind this. Over to BC's Richard Fox to tell it:
All the 'wood whites' in Northern Ireland and many other central and northern parts of Europe, which were previous thought to be real's wood white, have now been found to be a different, previously unknown 'cryptic' species. This has been named cryptic wood white, Leptidea juvernica. Real's wood white still exists as a species, just our knowledge of where it occurs has changed radically with the discovery of the new species. As far as we know at the moment, real's wood white is now only found in south-west Europe. So it is a different species as well as a different name, but the butterflies haven't changed of course - just the way that scientists classify them.