First butterfly sightings 2016

Brimstone (male)

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

Brown Hairstreak has now started its flight period, meaning that all UK resident butterfly species (plus common immigrants) have been seen in 2016.

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: 26 July 2016
Vernacular name Scientific name Date Location
Swallowtail  Papilio machaon 19 May
Norfolk
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages 18 Apr
Sussex
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae 12 Apr
Sussex
Chequered Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon 12 May
Argyll
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola 24 June
Sussex
Small Skipper  Thymelicus sylvestris 24 May
Isle of Wight
Lulworth Skipper  Thymelicus acteon 26 May
Dorset
Silver-spotted Skipper  Hesperia comma 13 July
Oxfordshire
Large Skipper  Ochlodes sylvanus 20 May
Essex
Wood White  Leptidea sinapis 5 May
Northamptonshire
Cryptic Wood White  Leptidea juvernica 6 May
Co. Armagh
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 2 June
Cumbria
Small Heath  Coenonympha pamphilus 28 Apr
Sussex
Mountain Ringlet Erebia epiphron 30 May
Cumbria
Scotch Argus Erebia aethiops 18 July Perth & Kinross
Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus 10 June
Gloucestershire
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina 14 May
Dorset
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus 25 May
Dorset
Marbled White Melanargia galathea 7 June
Dorset
Grayling Hipparchia semele 4 June
Conwy
Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne 19 Apr
Devon
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene 4 May
Devon
Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia 21 June
Devon, Dorset
Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja 5 June
Somerset
High Brown Fritillary Argynnis adippe 7 June
Glamorgan
White Admiral Limenitis camilla 21 June
Dorset
Purple Emperor Apatura iris 27 June
Surrey, Sussex
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 8 May
Dorset, Wiltshire
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia 1 May
Isle of Wight
Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia 15 May
Devon
Duke of Burgundy  Hamearis lucina 13 Apr
Hampshire
Small Copper  Lycaena phlaeas 11 Apr
Cornwall
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae 20 July
Dorset
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus 18 June
Essex
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 30 Mar
Sussex
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album 15 June
Surrey
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni 15 June
Bucks, Cambs
Small Blue  Cupido minimus 23 Apr
Dorset
Holly Blue  Celastrina argiolus 22 Mar
Hertfordshire
Large Blue  Maculinea arion 2 June
Somerset
Silver-studded Blue  Plebejus argus 26 May
Cornwall
Brown Argus  Aricia agestis 4 May
Lincolnshire
Northern Brown Argus  Aricia artaxerxes 30 May
Lancashire
Common Blue  Polyommatus icarus 3 May
Suffolk
Adonis Blue  Polyommatus bellargus 12 May
Surrey
Chalk Hill Blue  Polyommatus coridon 2 July
Hertfordshire