Recording Butterflies

How to record butterflies?

We always encourage members to record Devon’s butterflies as butterflies are extremely valuable indicators of the state of the environment (find out more on the BC Why Butterflies Matter page)

Anyone can take part in this recording effort, from butterfly beginners to experienced recorders. There are a number of different ways you can do this:-

  • Email individual sightings to County Recorder via the email link on our Latest Sightings page (this method is ideal for first sightings of a species and other notable or interesting sightings).  If you want the record to appear on our Latest Sightings page then you must use this method.  Photographs are welcome as they help us confirm your sighting and we may feature your photo in our Gallery pages.  
  • Batch Recording to County Recorder - If you record a lot of butterflies (and we hope you do) our preferred way to receive your records is on an Excel spreadsheet either monthly or at the end of the season.  (preferred method for your general day to day records).  Download a recording spreadsheet and instructions here.  
  • iRecord app – This is a free butterfly recording app you can use on your smartphone. The app can be downloaded from Butterfly Conservation here.  Records that come in via this app can be viewed online at iRecord and are forwarded to the Devon County Recorder at the end of the year.  
  • Moth Sightings - for information about recording Moths follow this link to the Devon Moth Group

Other methods also used in Devon (this section is still under construction and more information will be added soon)

 More information can be found at the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme web page.


  • Transects - These are records using official methods of regular monitoring for specific sites.  Contact the Devon Branch Transect Co-ordinator here.
  • Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey - This scheme takes random 1km squares which are checked twice in the year, the aim being to get a general picture over the whole of Britain. Contact the Devon Branch WCBS Co-ordinator here. 
  • Timed Count - A species time limited count for the experienced observer - Devon's Fritillary Butterfly Records are generally collected by this method.