Butterflies of the world

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.

Ant 'midwives' help the birth of the blues – silver-studded, that is

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.

Wet summers drive five British butterflies close to extinction

Three years of heavy rain and low temperatures made it hard for insects to fly

Michael McCarthy: How I journeyed far and wide to see these lovely insects

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.

Spring is back to normal – after 15 freak mild years

The severe winter means that we still have to wait a few weeks for the return of blossoms, buds and wildlife, writes Michael McCarthy

Hilly areas are better for butterflies

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.

The cricket that pollinates plants

Insect is filmed transferring pollen between orchids for first time

Buzzing again: Why 2009 was a good year for wasps - and the rest of Britain's wildlife

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.

Dazzled and Deceived: mimicry and camouflage, By Peter Forbes

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.

Michael McCarthy: Butterflies to make the heart beat faster

Environment Notebook: I'd have given anything to see them. I'd have been elated. I could taste the elation in advance

Six-year-old girl discovers Asian moth in UK

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.

Sunny September brings butterfly invasion

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.

Ready to Wear: A small yellow creature took off from the surface of an as-yet unworn scarf

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.

The Behaviour of Moths, By Poppy Adams

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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower