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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Also known as the Wall butterfly.
This is a widespread but somewhat uncommon species, found in short open grassland with patches of bare ground such as coastal cliffs, dunes, disturbed land and grassy farm tracks.
It's caterpillars feed on assorted grasses.
The decline of this species has been severe inland, with them disappearing at many sites in central & southern England.
The name Wall is derived from the behavior of resting with wings 2/3 open on bare surfaces including walls and bare ground.
This basking behavior allows it to benefit from the warmth of the sun rays shining directly on the butterfly. (Also being reflected back onto it from whatever surface it is resting on.)
This habit also allows the Wall to raise its body temperature high enough for it to fly.
In extremely warm weather basking is avoided and it may retreat to a shaded spot to avoid overheating.
They were once found throughout England, Wales, Ireland and parts of Scotland.
This species has suffered severe declines over the last several decades.
It is now limited primarily to coastal regions and has been lost from many areas in central, eastern and southeast England.
In Scotland it is now confined to southwestern coastal areas.
It can also be found on the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
They are found in smaller self-contained colonies, although some individuals will wander, allowing the species to quickly colonize nearby areas.
* There has been a startling decline of 87 % since 1976, when monitoring for this species was started.
Avg. body length: 36–50 mm / 3.6 – 5 cm / 1.4 – 2 “
Avg. wing span: 45 - 53 mm / 4.5 – 5.3 cm / 1.7 - 2.8 “
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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