It was by Kars Veling, about Butterflies and dragonflies in cities: more than food for birds.
There are quite some butterfly species in Dutch cities and towns. For one category of butterflies, that is not surprising. These are the species who are not so selective about environments. Caterpillars of species like red admiral, peacock, and small tortoiseshell are dependent on stinging nettles, plants which grow even in city centres.
With some luck, one may also see more selective butterfly species in urban environments, like the comma, and meadow brown.
There are also some really specialized species in Dutch cities. As far as we know, the white-letter hairstreak in the Netherlands lives only in Heerlen city. The brown hairstreak numbers are going down in the countryside, but are stable in cities like Wageningen and Zwolle.
Essex skipper butterflies may also flourish in urban environments. Provided that lawns are not mown, destroying the eggs.
Brown argus butterflies also thrive in cities sometimes, especially on temporarily fallow land.
In an oak tree, there may be 50-70 butterfly or moth caterpillar species.
Plants which attract butterflies: here.
Dragonflies and damselflies in cities, like elsewhere, are dependent on clear water. In muddy water, their larvae will not be able to see far enough, and will die. If you want willow emerald damselflies in your city, you need trees as well as clear water: because the adults deposit their eggs in autumn in trees standing close to water. If the larvae hatch in spring, they drop straight into the water. So, don’t cut down all trees near the water. But also don’t let big trees grow all along the water, for then the water becomes too shady. Try to find a balance.
What’s a city-dweller to do — you want to help fight climate change, but does planting trees in the city really make a difference? Can urban forests help sequester carbon and offset emissions? Here.
Conistra ligula moths in the Netherlands: here.
Insects of Oldenaller estate in the Netherlands: here.
Mauve bluet (Proischnura polychromaticum) damselfly: here.
August 2010: The nationally rare brown hairstreak butterfly appears to be making a comeback in Worcestershire, after being spotted in fields next to land recently bought by the county’s wildlife trust: here.