Third sighting of elusive Purple Emperor butterfly in north Norfolk
One of Britain’s most elusive butterflies has been spotted for a third time in north Norfolk.
The Purple Emperor was seen at Beeston Common, near Sheringham, just days after the butterly was also spotted at the National Trust’s Sheringham Park.
Britain’s second-largest butterfly is rarely seen in Norfolk, preferring larger woodlands in southern England.
The most recent sighting was made by Beeston Common honorary warden Francis Farrow, who said: “These impressive butterflies have not been seen in Norfolk since the early 1970s apart from some infrequent sightings.
“The butterfly seen at Beeston Common was a female, which is largely brown with white diagonal wing markings, not the impressive iridescent purple male.”
He said one theory was that the butterflies in north Norfolk were from a colony in Suffolk.
Mr Farrow added: “Hopefully enough of these large and beautiful butterflies will arrive and start their own colonies in Norfolk woodlands.”