First butterfly sightings 2016

Brimstone (male)

Here are 2016's earliest sightings of resident and common migrant butterflies, as reported to Butterfly Conservation.

Common Blue is the latest butterfly to make its first appearance of the year. With warmer weather in some areas there will be more species following on.

If you have seen a butterfly in 2016 that is not yet listed below, and you are confident that you have identified it correctly, please email our Head of Recording with details of your sighting. You can follow all the latest sightings, as they happen, on Twitter @RichardFoxBC

Last update: 5 May 2016
Vernacular name Scientific name Date Location
Swallowtail  Papilio machaon    
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages 18 Apr
Sussex
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae 12 Apr
 Sussex
Chequered Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon    
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola    
Small Skipper  Thymelicus sylvestris

Lulworth Skipper  Thymelicus acteon

Silver-spotted Skipper  Hesperia comma  
Large Skipper  Ochlodes sylvanus  
Wood White  Leptidea sinapis  
Cryptic Wood White  Leptidea juvernica  
Orange-tip  Anthocharis cardamines 26 Mar
Surrey
Large White  Pieris brassicae 14 Mar
Devon
Small White  Pieris rapae 3 Mar
Essex
Green-veined White  Pieris napi 16 Mar
Buckinghamshire
Clouded Yellow Colias croceus 25 Mar
Dorset
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni 17 Jan
Dorset
Wall  Lasiommata megera 17 Apr
Dorset
Speckled Wood  Pararge aegeria 4 Jan
Hertfordshire
Large Heath  Coenonympha tullia  
Small Heath  Coenonympha pamphilus 28 Apr
Sussex
Mountain Ringlet Erebia epiphron    
Scotch Argus Erebia aethiops    
Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus    
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina    
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus    
Marbled White Melanargia galathea    
Grayling Hipparchia semele    
Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne 19 Apr
 Devon
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene    
Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia    
Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja    
High Brown Fritillary Argynnis adippe    
White Admiral Limenitis camilla  
Purple Emperor Apatura iris  
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 1 Jan Hampshire
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui 2 Jan Devon, Somerset
Peacock Aglais io 4 Jan
Norfolk, Suffolk
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 1 Jan
Northamptonshire
Comma Polygonia c-album 6 Jan
Cheshire
Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia  
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia 1 May
Isle of Wight
Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia  
Duke of Burgundy  Hamearis lucina 13 Apr
Hampshire
Small Copper  Lycaena phlaeas 11 Apr
Cornwall
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae    
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus    
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 30 Mar
 Sussex
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album    
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni    
Small Blue  Cupido minimus 23 Apr
Dorset
Holly Blue  Celastrina argiolus 22 Mar
Hertfordshire
Large Blue  Maculinea arion  
Silver-studded Blue  Plebejus argus  
Brown Argus Aricia agestis  
Northern Brown Argus Aricia artaxerxes  
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus 3 May
Suffolk
Adonis Blue Polyommatus bellargus  
Chalk Hill Blue Polyommatus coridon