Emperor butterflies in Denmark amid warmer weather

Denmark is seeing a new visitor this year thanks to rising temperatures. A report by the Politiken newspaper said on Tuesday that the Lesser Purple Emperor butterfly has made its way into to the Scandinavian nation from other parts of Europe, as experts cite milder winters and warmer summer temperatures as the reason for the unexpected visit.

Residents of Amager have said that a substantial colony of Lesser Purple Emperors has established itself in the area.

Scientists say that Denmark normally sees about 98 species of monarchs, admirals and other kinds of butterflies each summer, but the emperors typically stay farther south. It is thought that the new arrivals in Denmark probably made the trek north from Poland.

Bearing the Latin name Apertura ilia, the Lesser Purple Emperor bears strikingly bold purple, blue and orange colours.

Jens-Christian Svenning, a biology professor from Aarhus University, said, “Denmark will gradually see more southern species that are able to move easily.” Mr Svenning went on to say that the milder weather in Denmark seen in recent years is also making the country a better habitat for the Butterfly Bush (buddleja), a plant species that is highly attractive to butterflies.