What set these photographers’ hearts all a flutter?

A rare purple emperor butterfly spotted in Fermyn Woods Country Park. Pictures by Glyn Dobbs
A rare purple emperor butterfly spotted in Fermyn Woods Country Park. Pictures by Glyn Dobbs

Photography enthusiasts got themselves in a flap when a rare purple emperor butterfly was spotted at Fermyn Woods Country Park, near Brigstock, at the weekend.

As these pictures by Glyn Dobbs show, the arrival of the butterfly caused a great deal of excitement among the amateur snappers hoping to snatch a shot of the rarely seen insect.

The website UK Butterflies says of it: “It is a magnificent and elusive insect that is actively sought out by the many subjects of “His Majesty”, as the male butterfly is affectionately known.

“Those who make pilgrimages to see this spectacular creature will often try and lure the males down from the canopy using all manner of temptations - including banana skins and shrimp paste.

“The male butterfly is one of the most beautiful of all of the butterflies found in the British Isles. From certain angles it appears to have black wings intersected with white bands. However, when the wings are at a certain angle to the sun, the most beautiful purple sheen is displayed, a result of light being refracted from the structures of the wing scales.”