Our butterfly hunt is over – but who has seen the most?

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Prize awaits most successful insect-spotter

A A A

Did you see a swallowtail? Did you glimpse a gatekeeper? We hope it helped to make the summer special, for some of you at least, but this week The Independent's Great British Butterfly Hunt is coming to a close.

Our invitation to try to see as many of our 58 native butterfly species as possible in a single summer has excited widespread interest and helped to raise the profile of our loveliest insects, many of which are in decline. But the time of reckoning has come, and we are reminding readers to send us their records.

The winner of the hunt – the person who has seen the most species, with itemised locations and dates of sightings – will be invited on a butterfly safari with the charity Butterfly Conservation to find the most late-emerging of all our species, the elusive brown hairstreak.

Martin Warren, Butterfly Conservation's chief executive, says anyone who has spotted more than 30 of the total is doing "pretty well"; anyone who has seen more than 40 is doing "very well indeed".

For although some of our butterflies, such as the red admiral, the peacock, and the small tortoiseshell, are common and will be visible in parks and gardens across Britain this week (given good sunshine), others have much more restricted flight times and locations.

To see the swallowtail you have to go to the Norfolk Broads; to spot the Glanville fritillary you have to go to the Isle of Wight; to observe the mountain ringlet you have to climb mountains; and to glimpse the remotest one of all, the chequered skipper, now extinct in England, you have to go to Argyllshire.

The Independent's own hunt has encompassed all these species – we have featured them in the paper – and we have nearly seen all 58; but not quite. A week ago today, with the help of Polly Freeman, countryside ranger with the Blair Atholl estate in Perthshire, we racked up species number 56, the Scotch argus, Scotland's own butterfly which is a rich chocolate brown with marmalade-coloured eye-spots.

Today, we hoped to be on 57, leaving only the brown hairstreak remained, but one species has eluded us – the clouded yellow. This is not rare, but it is a wandering migrant from the continent, so it is hard to predict where it will turn up and it has not yet appeared in front of your correspondent, despite several frustrating searches.

*Send your records, with dates and locations of each species sighted to m.mccarthy@independent.co.uk, marking the subject box "Butterfly Hunt". If you do not have email access, send them by post to Michael McCarthy, The Independent, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF, writing "Butterfly Hunt" on the envelope. Make sure your entry reaches us by this Friday, 28 August

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas