01 Jul 2022

Rare butterfly species discovered in Offaly

The Marsh Fritillary Butterfly

The Marsh Fritillary Butterfly

One of the rarest butterflies in Europe has been discovered in the bogs of Offaly after an absence of over twenty years.

The Marsh Fritillary Butterfly was last seen on Turraun Bog in West Offaly in 1995 but has been recorded back on the bog within the past week. Bord na Móna ecologists confirm the butterfly has returned to the area.   

The Marsh Fritillary species is the only Irish butterfly that is protected at a European level. It is a species that will live in wetlands and bog margins.

The Head of Bord na Móna’s Ecology Department, Joe Lane, said, “This is a discovery of big European significance, the Marsh Fritillary Butterfly is a rare and beautiful creature that we thought had disappeared but now we know it has returned."

"We believe it has returned because of the extensive bog rehabilitation work that has taken place in Turraun and at the nearby Lough Boora Discovery Park, but we need way more data on this project." he added.

"That is why we are making a big appeal to people to go out there and find more examples of this and other butterflies," Joe added.

He encouraged people to photograph butterflies if they can and send the picture and details regarding the location to them at

"We know they are out there, so we are asking people to take their children, family, friends, grannies, whoever they can to Lough Boora Discovery Park or go out to bogs and wetlands and help us find them. Above all, when you do go out looking for the Marsh Fritillary, remember to have fun and stay safe,” Joe concluded.


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