Climate change, habitat loss and biodiversity

The global climate is changing and many species are responding by shifting their distributions to track climate changes. Thus species are expanding northwards as new areas become suitable, but disappearing from other locations that become too hot and dry. The fascination of the general public for recording animals and plants in Britain has provided a […]

Butterflies: nature’s smartest deceivers

Now that the Natural History Museum’s ‘Sensational Butterfly’ exhibition is open, we take a closer look at the butterfly’s deceptive tactics and probe into the world of camouflage.

Wings of change

Long-term insect surveillance initiatives, such as the Rothamsted Insect Survey and the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, allow ongoing assessments of the conservation status of large numbers of insect species against a background of increasing environmental change. This meeting will highlight the key findings from long-term insect surveys, including a 50-year monitoring project for British moths and butterflies.

When the Familiar Vanishes

Adonis Blue This article is taken from the Winter 2011 issue of I, Science. Are we in a post-butterfly era? Kevin Edge explores the role amateur contributions could play in saving the British butterfly population. Mid-winter, many like to recall warm summer days when meadow, wood and cliff walks are alive with countless flowers, bees […]

Butterflies, Brains & DNA Games

Monarch caterpillar Since Watson and Crick’s seminal discovery of the double helix there’s been an emergent supposition that DNA makes us what we are. This is a savagely simple belief, which has allowed creationists to pick holes in Darwin’s arguments, but also probably reflects why only 40 years later genetic research is at the point […]

Science Behind the Photo #1

Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui) Almost a third of butterflies in Europe are in decline and one in ten is threatened with extinction. This also has a severe knock-on effect for the plant species which rely on butterflies for pollination. A recent report by Natural England has found that that the number of butterflies in the […]