Local naturalist Stuart Dunlop from Raphoe has found and photographed an extremely rare specimen of the commonly-encountered Green-veined White butterfly – the first known photograph in existence.

He said: “I was out shooting nature photos as I normally do but it was only when I got home that I realised that this could be something very special. I consulted with the experts in Ireland and then the UK. Their top man Peter Eles told me that he had been looking for such a photo for forty years. It was a massive thrill and as far as I know the only photo of this specimen in existence.”  

A person who is an expert in butterflies is called a lepidopterist. The butterfly (see photo) is a bilateral gynandromorph of the Green-veined White, which means it is female on the right-hand side and male on the right-hand side. Gynandromorphs arise as a result of faulty cell-division in the very early stages in development and are very rare, particularly in the Green-veined White.

Stuart makes regular blog postings on http://www.donegal-wildlife.blogspot.com and is also compiling a Donegal wildlife database on http://www.donegalwildlife.altervista.org

See this week’s Letterkenny Post for more.

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