Cryptic Wood White by Robert Thompson

Northern Ireland offers a rich landscape of mountains, meadows, forests, rivers, lakes, islands and many, many miles of scenic coastline. Although only covering 6% of the land area of the UK, the country is rich in moth and butterfly species including one that can only be found here and not in wider Great Britain.

Northern Ireland is famous for many reasons, but the butterflies and moths that are found here should definitely be one of them. Although home to only 25 species of butterfly, almost half of these are priority species. One of these, the Cryptic Wood White (thought to be Real's Wood White until recent research proved it to be a new species entirely) is only found in Northern Ireland and not elsewhere in the UK. Craigavon Lakes Local Nature Reserve in County Armagh is the very best place to visit to see this butterfly on the wing during May and June.

There are almost 1000 different types of moth in Northern Ireland. These secretive creatures are most often active at night, although many fly during the day. However as it is a common 'moth myth' that moths are small and brown, if spotted, many day-flying moths are thought be some sort of butterfly as they are often very brightly coloured and patterned.

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BC Northern Ireland are grateful to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency who have funded our work in Northern Ireland since 2002.

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