First butterfly sightings 2018

Brimstone (male)

Here are 2018's earliest sightings of resident and common migrant butterflies, as reported to Butterfly Conservation.

Purple Emperor is emerging now and the first Essex Skipper has been reported.

To count as first sightings, butterflies must be seen outside and be active (i.e. not in hibernation). If you are confident that you've seen a butterfly species in the UK this year that has not yet been reported below, please contact info@butterfly-conservation.org. You can follow all the latest sightings, as they happen, on Twitter @RichardFoxBC or on Butterfly Conservation's Facebook page.

Last update: 18 June 2018
Vernacular name Scientific name Date Location
Swallowtail  Papilio machaon 15 May
Norfolk
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages 19 April
Surrey
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae 14 April
Sussex
Chequered Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon 16 May
Highland
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola 13 June
Derbyshire
Small Skipper  Thymelicus sylvestris 29 May
Derbyshire
Lulworth Skipper  Thymelicus acteon 18 May
Dorset
Silver-spotted Skipper  Hesperia comma  
Large Skipper  Ochlodes sylvanus 11 May
Derbyshire
Wood White  Leptidea sinapis 6 May
Sussex
Cryptic Wood White  Leptidea juvernica 6 May
Co. Fermanagh
Orange-tip  Anthocharis cardamines 5 April
Somerset
Large White  Pieris brassicae 5 April
Derbyshire
Small White  Pieris rapae 6 March
Kent
Green-veined White  Pieris napi 21 March
Suffolk
Clouded Yellow Colias croceus 7 April
Devon
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni  5 Jan
Hampshire
Wall  Lasiommata megera 19 April
Tyne & Wear
Speckled Wood  Pararge aegeria 25 Jan
London
Large Heath  Coenonympha tullia 30 May
Cumbria
Small Heath  Coenonympha pamphilus 25 April
Sussex
Mountain Ringlet Erebia epiphron 26 May
Cumbria
Scotch Argus Erebia aethiops  
Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus 1 June
Derbyshire
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina 12 May
Norfolk
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus 11 June
Devon
Marbled White Melanargia galathea 3 June
Berkshire
Grayling Hipparchia semele 8 June
Conwy
Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne 29 April
Cornwall
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene 10 May
Cornwall
Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia 10 June
Hertfordshire
Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja 2 June
Sussex
High Brown Fritillary Argynnis adippe 13 June
Glamorgan
White Admiral Limenitis camilla 6 June
Dorset
Purple Emperor Apatura iris 13 June
Cambridgeshire
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 1 Jan
Devon & Oxfordshire
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui 6 March
Sussex
Peacock Aglais io 1 Jan Norfolk
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 10 Jan
Northants, Sussex &  Wilts
Comma Polygonia c-album 10 Jan
Sussex
Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia 13 May
Wiltshire
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia 11 May
Isle of Wight
Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia 19 May
Essex
Duke of Burgundy  Hamearis lucina 26 April
Hampshire
Small Copper  Lycaena phlaeas 14 March
Sussex
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae  
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus 10 June
Essex
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 18 April
Gloucestershire, Surrey & Sussex
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album 31 May
Middlesex
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni 1 June
Oxfordshire
Small Blue  Cupido minimus 8 May
Dorset
Holly Blue  Celastrina argiolus 25 March
Derbyshire
Large Blue  Maculinea arion 21 May
Somerset
Silver-studded Blue  Plebejus argus 29 May
Hampshire
Brown Argus  Aricia agestis 6 May
Cornwall & Sussex
Northern Brown Argus  Aricia artaxerxes 30 May
Cumbria
Common Blue  Polyommatus icarus 6 May
Sussex
Adonis Blue  Polyommatus bellargus 8 May
Kent
Chalk Hill Blue  Polyommatus coridon