SCOTS gardeners are being asked to look out for butterflies this autumn after species struggled during the cold and wet summer.

Butterfly numbers fell during August but the warm conditions in spring enabled many species to emerge and breed early this year.

The wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation says these good spring and early summer conditions enabled more butterflies to fit in an extra generation.

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Now experts believe the coming weeks could herald an impressive autumnal emergence of Scottish species such as Comma, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood.

Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Large White, Small White, Painted Lady, Small Copper, Common Blue, which are associated with summer, can be seen into early November if mild conditions persist.

Richard Fox, the charity’s head of recording, said: “It’s been a challenging year for butterflies but gardens become increasingly important for butterflies at this time of year.

“Nectar, the flight fuel for most of our butterflies, is in short supply in the countryside as we move into autumn, yet many of our garden flowerbeds and borders are still full of colour.

“For some butterflies it is a matter of life and death; species such as the Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma, which hibernate as adult butterflies, have to feed up and lay down substantial fat reserves in their bodies in order to survive the winter."

Butterfly Conservation’s Garden Butterfly Survey plays an important part in finding out just how late in the year butterflies can still be regularly seen.