On the coast path from Camaret to Pte. De Cornouaille where the ancient Spanish Fort looks down over the Rade de Brest, Black-veined white butterflies feed on clover which they share with a host of multi coloured beetles and moths. The mysterious decline of the Black-veined White has been the subject of discussion amongst entomologists for over a century. This impressive butterfly became extinct in Britain in the 1920s. Since then, many reintroductions have been attempted, all of which have failed. It is a large species with a powerful, soaring flight. When they become worn, the wings look like parchment patterned with distinctive black veins. It is sadly declining in many European countries.

p A black veined white butterfly on clover.


Two other interesting butterflies found around Camaret are the Pearl -bordered Fritillary and the Swallow Tail. This fratillary is a tawny brown butterfly with black veins and numerous black spots which get smaller towards the edge of the wings. The underwings are orange and yellow mosaic, look carefully for the seven silver Pearls' along the margin and two nearer the body.

t A pearl bordered fritillary.

t The swallow tail.

A really good place to see swallowtail butterflies is around the coast of Brittany. The swallowtail is Britain's largest butterfly and also one of its most beautiful with a wingspan up to about 80mm. In Britain, swallowtails are now only to be found in the Norfolk Broads although they used to be common throughout the fens of East Anglia. Its description is hardly necessary as the photo says it all – a superb creature sporting a fur cape over its shoulders, peacock feather patterns on its rump and with that most disctinctive swallow tail of course.