This table lists the earliest sightings of resident and regular migrant butterfly species in 2017 reported to Butterfly Conservation HQ and Nick Bowles.

These first sightings are gathered as the butterfly season progresses so as to provide up-to-date information about species emergence. They are not reviewed retrospectively by reference to transect data or distribution records and therefore represent what we believed to be the first report of a species at the time rather than a comprehensive analysis of the actual first dates recorded in a particular year.



View previous years (2008-2016) sightings as a download.

UK First sightings 2017      
Vernacular name Scientific name Date Location
Swallowtail  Papilio machaon 10 May Norfolk
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 3 June  Kent
Small Skipper  Thymelicus sylvestris 4 June  Essex
Lulworth Skipper  Thymelicus acteon 10 May  Dorset
Silver-spotted Skipper  Hesperia comma 7 July  Oxfordshire & Sussex
Large Skipper  Ochlodes sylvanus 20 May  Cambridgeshire
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 27 May  Lancashire
Small Heath  Coenonympha pamphilus 26 March  Surrey
Mountain Ringlet Erebia epiphron 25 May  Cumbria
Scotch Argus Erebia aethiops 13 July  Cumbria
Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus 2 June  Wiltshire
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina 21 May  Suffolk
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus 1 June  Berkshire & Cambridgeshire
Marbled White Melanargia galathea 31 May  Somerset
Grayling Hipparchia semele 27 May  Conwy
Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne 11 April  Devon
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene 27 April  Devon
Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia 7 June  Hertfordshire & Sussex
Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja 30 May  Devon & Dorset
High Brown Fritillary Argynnis adippe 11 June  Devon & Glamorgan
White Admiral Limenitis camilla 10 June  Surrey & Sussex
Purple Emperor Apatura iris 11 June Surrey
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 7 July  Sussex
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus 12 June  Surrey & Sussex
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 25 March  Cumbria
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album 4 June  Essex & Kent
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni 30 May  Cambridgeshire
Small Blue  Cupido minimus 21 April  Dorset
Holly Blue  Celastrina argiolus 16 Feb  Cornwall
Large Blue  Maculinea arion 24 May  Somerset
Silver-studded Blue  Plebejus argus 26 May  Conwy
Brown Argus  Aricia agestis 23 April  Hampshire
Northern Brown Argus  Aricia artaxerxes 25 May  Borders
Common Blue  Polyommatus icarus 3 April  Surrey
Adonis Blue  Polyommatus bellargus 27 April  Kent
Chalk Hill Blue  Polyommatus coridon 24 June  Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire