Mysterious sightings of an extremely rare butterfly, previously believed to be extinct in Britain for almost a century, have sparked excitement among enthusiasts. The black-veined white butterfly, a species that was officially declared extinct in Britain in 1925, has been spotted in small numbers in fields and hedgerows in south-east London. Although they may resemble common cabbage white butterflies to the untrained eye, the black-veined white is a distinct and rare species. The appearance of these butterflies among their preferred habitat, such as hawthorn and blackthorn trees, has puzzled experts. The charity Butterfly Conservation suspects that the insects were intentionally released, but the motive and source remain unknown. While it is a delight for people to witness these butterflies, it is unlikely to indicate a spontaneous recovery of the extinct species.
Photo Credit: Lenstravelier