Butterflies

Mapless monarch butterflies migrate using 'internal compass'

The North American monarch butterfly’s amazing migration, travelling thousands of miles each year from its wintering grounds in Mexico to as far north as the Great Lakes of Canada and back, is done without any internal maps, a study has found.

Portfolio: The nature detectives

Imagine standing on the surface of the Moon, staring back at Earth and having in your grasp a device that allows you to see a tennis ball.

The year of strange weather

From a baking-hot spring to a chilly summer, 2011 played havoc with our plans, our wardrobes – and our native wildlife.

More headlines

The curse of the moth

They're back – and this time we haven't got the balls to stop them. Francesca Infante reports

How to save a bug's life

Insects are Britain's most threatened – yet most overlooked – species of wildlife. But enthusiasts have devised innovative methods to ensure their survival, as Peter Marren reports

Warm spring brings bumper year for Britain's butterflies

British butterflies are expected in spectacular abundance this year, with more than a quarter of all species native to the isles having made their earliest recorded appearances as a result of the warmest spring for 351 years.