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Science
NATURE
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Monday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Tuesday 11:00
Nature offers a window on global natural history, providing a unique insight into the natural world, the environment, and the magnificent creatures that inhabit it.
nhuradio@bbc.co.uk
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 18 September
PRESENTER
BRETT WESTWOOD
Brett Westwood
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Monday 18 September 2006
A bumble bee - just one of many creatures covered by the Collins New Naturalist publications.
Purple Emperor Butterfly © Matthew Oates 

PURPLE EMPEROR

This week Brett Westwood follows in the footsteps of the Victorian butterfly collectors when he tracks down one of Britain 's rarest and most beautiful insects.

The Purple Emperor haunts the tops of oak trees in a few woodlands and was once caught with 30-foot nets by enthusiasts who specialised in catching "His Imperial Majesty".

Now the secrets of this magisterial butterfly are being unravelled by biologists including Matthew Oates from the National Trust, who acts as Brett's guide through the woods. As they discover, a butterfly with such a refined reputation, has the most unrefined feeding habits.
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