This table lists the earliest sightings of resident and regular migrant butterfly species in 2018 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 (2009-2017) sightings as a download.

UK First sightings 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 9 July  Oxfordshire
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 12 July  Cumbria
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 31 May  Devon
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 & Wiltshire
Comma Polygonia c-album 10 Jan  Sussex
Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia 13 May  Wiltshire
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia 9 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 5 July  Pembrokeshire
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus 9 June  Oxfordshire
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 5 May Pembrokeshire
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 25 June  Cambridgeshire