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.

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Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The loveliest living creature

What's Britain's most beautiful creature? Many people would name a bird: the kingfisher springs to mind at once, and there'd be a raft of other candidates from the goldfinch to the roseate tern, all plausible. Some might name a mammal: I can see how the pine marten might have its supporters, all sleek deadly elegance in fur; and the common dolphin, with that great pale stripe along its side, is a heartstopping animal when you see it surging around your boat. But I'm going to name an insect.

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