Scottish Orange-tip Survey

Orange-tip
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Orange-tip

Have you seen an Orange-tip?

The Orange-tip butterfly has experienced a series of dramatic range changes in Scotland. Once widespread, it suffered huge declines and by the 1970s was largely restricted to parts of Aberdeenshire and southern Scotland. In the mid-1980s a revival began and since then the butterfly has mounted a stunning comeback, surging into many parts of its former range!

To help monitor these range changes Butterfly Conservation Scotland held a Scotland-wide public survey in 1997 and then again in 2007. Another 10 years on we are repeating the survey to see if further changes have occurred.

The adult butterflies have one brood a year, emerging in mid-April and are on the wing until early June. Males have very distinctive orange-tips to their wings (hence the name!), and whilst females lack the orange-tips they can be identified by the distinctive green mottling on the underside of their wings. The butterfly is fond of damp grassland habitats though it can be found in many places including riverbanks, gardens, farmland and parks.