Rare butterfly seen in Sussex

A rare and spectacular butterfly may be attempting to colonise the UK after adults recently emerged on the south coast, Butterfly Conservation has revealed.

Rare butterfly sightings in Sussex

Continental Swallowtail butterfly Credit: Butterfly Conservation

A rare butterfly may be attempting to colonise the UK after sightings of the species on the south coast, the Butterfly Conservation has revealed.

A dozen adult Continental Swallowtail butterflies have been seen across Sussex in the last few weeks.

Last year’s hot summer saw the largest continental Swallowtail invasion since 1945 with adults laying eggs in a number of gardens in Hastings, Eastbourne and Chichester. The butterflies were also seen in other south coast counties including Suffolk, Kent, Hampshire and Dorset.

The UK’s relatively cold climate makes it very difficult for the butterfly to survive through the winter but the recent successful emergence of adults suggests last year’s breeding attempts have been successful.