First butterfly sightings 2017

Brimstone (male)

Here are 2017's earliest sightings of resident and common migrant butterflies, as reported to Butterfly Conservation.

The first Large Skipper of year has been spotted in Dorset this weekend.

If you have seen a butterfly in 2017 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. To count as first sightings, butterflies must be seen outside and be active (i.e. not in hibernation). You can follow all the latest sightings, as they happen, on Twitter @RichardFoxBC or on Butterfly Conservation's Facebook page.

Last update: 22 May 2017
Vernacular name Scientific name Date Location
Swallowtail  Papilio machaon  
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages 8 April
Kent, Sussex
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae 2 April
Sussex
Chequered Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon 8 May
Argyll
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola  
Small Skipper  Thymelicus sylvestris  
Lulworth Skipper  Thymelicus acteon 10 May
Dorset
Silver-spotted Skipper  Hesperia comma  
Large Skipper  Ochlodes sylvanus 21 May
Dorset
Wood White  Leptidea sinapis 11 April
Shropshire
Cryptic Wood White  Leptidea juvernica 30 April
Co Armagh
Orange-tip  Anthocharis cardamines 15 March
Suffolk
Large White  Pieris brassicae 16 Feb
Kent
Small White  Pieris rapae 4 March
Lincolnshire
Green-veined White  Pieris napi 13 March
Kent
Clouded Yellow Colias croceus 26 March
Dorset
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni 10 Jan
Sussex
Wall  Lasiommata megera 8 April
Devon
Speckled Wood  Pararge aegeria 22 Jan
Devon
Large Heath  Coenonympha tullia  
Small Heath  Coenonympha pamphilus 26 March
Surrey
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 11 April
Devon
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene 27 April
Devon
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
Kent
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui 16 Feb
Dorset
Peacock Aglais io 1 Jan
Somerset & Wiltshire
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 2 Jan
Leicestershire
Comma Polygonia c-album 20 Jan
Lancashire
Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia 6 May
Wiltshire
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia 6 May
Isle of Wight
Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia 10 May
Devon
Duke of Burgundy  Hamearis lucina 8 April
Hampshire
Small Copper  Lycaena phlaeas 9 March
Surrey
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae  
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus  
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 25 March
Cumbria
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album  
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni  
Small Blue  Cupido minimus 21 April
Dorset
Holly Blue  Celastrina argiolus 16 Feb
Cornwall
Large Blue  Maculinea arion  
Silver-studded Blue  Plebejus argus  
Brown Argus  Aricia agestis 23 April
Hampshire
Northern Brown Argus  Aricia artaxerxes  
Common Blue  Polyommatus icarus 3 April
Surrey
Adonis Blue  Polyommatus bellargus 27 April
Kent
Chalk Hill Blue  Polyommatus coridon