The Comma butterfly disappeared from Scotland nearly 150 years ago, but is now making a comeback.

Thanks to climate change, it is now regularly seen in the south of the country. Butterfly Conservation (BC) want to know where it has been seen this year, so experts can track it's progress as it continues to spread northwards across the UK.

The butterfly made it's return to the Highlands in 2004 and since then, there have only been 23 confirmed sightings this far north. Of these, 78 percent were in Badenoch and Strathspey, including Kingussie, Nethy Bridge and Boat of Garten.

The butterfly has also been spotted in Mallaig, Fort Augustus, Daviot and Aberlour and the first Comma of 2019 was recorded near Grantown-on-Spey in February.

BC’s Senior Conservation Officer for Scotland Dr Tom Prescott said: “The Comma hibernates during the winter and comes out when the weather is warmer, so that’s why we’ve already had a sighting in February.

“Now that we’ve come into spring, we are hoping to see more adults emerging, so we are asking people to keep an eye out for them in April and May and to let us know if they see any.

“We think climate change is the reason behind this butterfly moving northwards, so we need to keep track of it's progress to learn more. Sightings can be submitted using the free iRecord butterflies app or by contacting your local butterfly recorder.”

The Comma visits gardens in the spring, late summer and autumn. The butterfly is easily identified by its ragged wing edges and the distinctive white comma-shaped marking on the undersides of the wings.

When at rest, the shape and colour of the Comma’s wings look like a tattered dead leaf, providing camouflage against predators.

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