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Agree that early date specimens in collections are often bred specimens. Am checking with Mike Fuller. Whatever, there are two separate accounts of it being out in 'early June' in the New Forest in 1893, a year when paphia and camilla etc. emerged in some numbers by the end of May...
Somewhere I assume there are some weather statistics for that year
I have had this message from Dave Miller"The year of the previous earliest sighting was 1893. I believe the climate records for that year actually show that it resembled 2011 with an amazingly warm spell in late April - and 2011 has had the warmest spring since... 1893. It is therefore possible that the Purple Emperor record may actually be genuine.http://www.ideashelper.com/the-weather-in-1893-in-cardiff-16.htmis a lovely piece of overblown Victorian prose about the year... Dave"
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