The Painted Lady is a long-distance migrant, which causes the most spectacular butterfly migrations observed in Britain and Ireland. Each year, it spreads northwards from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, recolonising mainland Europe and reaching Britain and Ireland. In some years it is an abundant butterfly, frequenting gardens and other flowery places in late summer.
This butterfly arrives in the UK every year and breeds here during the warmer months, with the offspring then emigrating southwards. They can arrive here even in mid-Winter, as happened during the winter of 2015/16, but typically the first big influx each year takes place in late May/early June. Numbers vary greatly from year to year, but the last mass immigration occurred during 2009. What will this year bring?