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Thursday 08 April 2010
As the Easter holidays arrive, the Natural History Museum invites visitors on an expedition across four continents with a new family exhibition featuring hundreds of butterflies from across the world.
Friday 26 March 2010
One of Britain's prettiest butterflies is helped into the world by ants who act as "midwives" – guarding the freshly emerged insect while it inflates and dries its wings, new research has shown.
Friday 05 March 2010
Friday 05 March 2010
Just how fragmented and isolated are some of the populations of Britain's butterflies is brought home to you when you try to see them all in a single summer, as I did last year as part of The Independent's Great British Butterfly Hunt. I managed to see all the five declining species about which conservationists are now so concerned, but to do so meant travelling from end to end of the land. It wasn't that I wanted to. I had to. To find these creatures which once were familiar throughout the countryside, you have to go a long way nowadays.
Monday 01 March 2010
Monday 08 February 2010
Research using satellite images has shown rugged, hilly areas with a mix of habitats such as woodland and grassland can help maintain more stable butterfly populations, scientists said today.
Wednesday 13 January 2010
Monday 28 December 2009
It began with an Arctic blast, suffered the heaviest 24-hour period of rain on record, and ended with another icy bombardment sweeping down from the North. Yet 2009 was surprisingly kind to much of Britain's wildlife given that the two previous wet summers had decimated many species of birds and butterflies.
Friday 30 October 2009
Soldiers used to be conspicuous, then they turned cryptic. Cockades and braid yielded first to greys and drab, then to subtle patterns that wrapped troops in forest or desert cloaks. In nature, the same alternatives are available. Typically, it is the males of a species that opt to be conspicuous and the females that prefer to be cryptic, the males standing to gain more, in reproductive terms, from showing off. They advertise their presence and boast of their fitness to potential mates, as Darwin recognised.
Tuesday 27 October 2009
Tuesday 13 October 2009
A shrub-eating moth has been discovered in the UK for the first time - thanks to the keen eye of a six-year-old girl.
Thursday 01 October 2009
Britain's sunny September has brought about an autumn invasion of butterflies, with thousands of red admirals, clouded yellows and large whites migrating into southern England from across the channel.
Monday 14 September 2009
This week I will mostly be eating humble pie. About two years ago now, British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman felt compelled to write a feature in her magazine about moths. How banal, I thought to myself. And this in one of the world's most aspirational and inspirational publications.
Sunday 06 September 2009
The self-consciously quirky title might be off-putting, but by the time you reach the end of this dark, atmospheric novel, one sees how apposite it is. Reclusive spinster Ginny Stone lives alone in her crumbling, furniture-less mansion. When her younger sister comes to stay, her life changes and secrets of the past bubble to the surface.
Saturday 05 September 2009
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
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