Yesterday’s sunshine brought out bright yellow brimstone butterflies, fluttering along the reserve’s hedges.

The brimstone is the longest lived of our butterflies with a life span of almost twelve months. It overwinters in its adult form, hibernating in woodland among evergreen leaves, and emerging in the early spring. Most years, it is the first butterfly seen in the reserve.

A brimstone female lays her eggs singly on the underside of the leaves of just a few species of buckthorn; altogether she lays up to seventy eggs. This is a single brood species, raising only one generation each year, always a welcome indicator that the winter is over.

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