First butterfly sightings 2018

Brimstone (male)

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

At last the season is getting going with all the common whites on the wing and the first Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreaks spotted.

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 You can follow all the latest sightings, as they happen, on Twitter @RichardFoxBC or on Butterfly Conservation's Facebook page.

Last update: 19 April 2018
Vernacular name Scientific name Date Location
Swallowtail  Papilio machaon  
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages  
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae 14 April
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 5 April
Large White  Pieris brassicae 5 April
Small White  Pieris rapae 6 March
Green-veined White  Pieris napi 3 April
Clouded Yellow Colias croceus 7 April
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni  5 Jan
Wall  Lasiommata megera  
Speckled Wood  Pararge aegeria 25 Jan
Large Heath  Coenonympha tullia  
Small Heath  Coenonympha pamphilus  
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  
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
Devon & Oxfordshire
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui 6 March
Peacock Aglais io 1 Jan Norfolk
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 10 Jan
Northants, Sussex &  Wilts
Comma Polygonia c-album 10 Jan
Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia  
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia  
Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia  
Duke of Burgundy  Hamearis lucina  
Small Copper  Lycaena phlaeas 14 March
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae  
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus  
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 18 April
Gloucestershire & Sussex
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album  
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni  
Small Blue  Cupido minimus

Holly Blue  Celastrina argiolus 25 March
Large Blue  Maculinea arion  
Silver-studded Blue  Plebejus argus  
Brown Argus  Aricia agestis  
Northern Brown Argus  Aricia artaxerxes  
Common Blue  Polyommatus icarus  
Adonis Blue  Polyommatus bellargus  
Chalk Hill Blue  Polyommatus coridon