The discovery of a rare Cryptic Wood Butterfly has come as quite a surprise to the experts who were totally unprepared and unaware that the species even existed until it was spotted dancing delicately in Northern Ireland.
Despite looking extremely similar to Â the Real Wood White and the Wood White Butterflies, that are found in many English woodlands in the summer, it is now known from the researchers study that the beautiful butterfly holds more chromosomes than the other two White species and dates back 70,000 years ago.
Chief Executive of Butterfly Conservation, Martin Warren said:
“It is a very exciting discovery.
“We are going to have to rewrite the butterfly books.”
To learn that the Cryptic Wood Butterfly has survived for 70,000 years is remarkable in itself and the news couldn’t have come at a better time as Conservationist and Wildlife TV Presenter, Sir David Attenborough, Â makes his special appeal for everyone to get involved in a nationwide butterfly count to help establish what effects the dry, hot, spring had upon the gentle insects.
“Butterflies are one of the stars of the British countryside.
“Summer just wouldn’t be summer without them.
“But they continue to be in long-term decline.
“It is vital than ever to know where they can be found and in what numbers.
“Taking part in the Big Butterfly Count 2011 is easy and great fun.
“By recording butterflies in a 15-minute count, you can make a real contribution to our understanding of these beautiful creatures.
“I urge everyone, young and old, to take part to help us assess the fortunes of these bewitching creatures”, implored Sir Attenborough.