Scotland

In pictures: Painted lady butterflies spotted across the UK

Painted lady butterfly Image copyright Olive D McInnes
Image caption Sr Gabriel thinks this butterfly has stronger colours than previous sightings at this garden in Dysart, Fife.

Huge numbers of painted lady butterflies have been seen in the UK and Ireland.

Experts say we are witnessing a once-a-decade growth in numbers of the species that migrate here each year from sub-Saharan Africa.

About 11 million of the butterflies were seen in the UK during the last "painted lady year" in 2009.

Sightings of painted ladies have prompted the posting of countless pictures and videos. Here are a selection of the images you have sent us.

Painted lady butterfly Image copyright Anne Anderson
Image caption Anne Anderson says painted ladies have been regular visitors to her garden in Scousburgh, Shetland.
Painted lady butterfly Image copyright Cheryl Franklin
Image caption Cheryl Franklin saw this one at Hengistbury Head near Bournemouth.
Presentational white space Image copyright Anne Anderson
Painted lady butterfly Image copyright Gina Lethaby
Image caption Gina Lethaby sent in this picture of a painted lady she spotted in Doughton, Gloucestershire.
Painted lady butterfly Image copyright Gordon Robertson
Image caption The species also known as 'Vanessa cardui' or the thistle butterfly. Photo by Gordon Robertson from Loch Laggan in the Highlands.
Painted lady butterfly Image copyright Mhairi Paterson
Image caption Mhairi Paterson from Kinghorn, Fife, says this butterfly sat on her hand for 30 seconds.
Painted lady butterflies Image copyright Eileen and Tony Kerr
Image caption Eileen and Tony Kerr were on holiday in the Campbeltown area and said they had "not seen as many butterflies in a long time".
Painted lady butterflies Image copyright Stanley Martin
Image caption Stanley Martin saw these painted ladies in his garden in Portadown, Co. Armagh.
Presentational white space Image copyright Anne Anderson
Painted lady butterfly Image copyright Robert Brady
Image caption Robert Brady sent in this photo of a painted lady butterfly.
Painted lady butterflies Image copyright Roger Berrett
Image caption Roger Berrett said he saw lots of butterflies in a garden in Kelso.

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