Here are 2021's earliest sightings of resident and common migrant butterflies, as reported to Butterfly Conservation.

Please ensure that you follow the appropriate Government coronavirus restrictions for your area when recording butterflies. Please see our latest guidance.

Spring has sprung! Whites, Orange-tip and Holly Blue are on the wing and the first Wall, Small Heath, Small Copper and Green Hairstreak of the year has been reported.

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

If you would like to get involved with butterfly recording, not just for first sightings, but to contribute to our assessments of UK trends and to underpin conservation, you can download our free recording app or find out how to take part.

Last update: 2 April 2021

Vernacular name Scientific name Date Location
Swallowtail  Papilio machaon    
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages    
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae    
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 11 March Kent
Large White  Pieris brassicae 7 March Derbyshire
Small White  Pieris rapae 22 Jan Wiltshire
Green-veined White  Pieris napi 23 March Derbyshire
Clouded Yellow Colias croceus 19 March Dorset
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni 21 Jan Derbyshire
Wall  Lasiommata megera 30 March Derbyshire & Somerset
Speckled Wood  Pararge aegeria 6 Feb Cornwall
Large Heath  Coenonympha tullia    
Small Heath  Coenonympha pamphilus 30 March Somerset
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 7 Jan Devon
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui 21 Feb Cornwall
Peacock Aglais io 6 Jan Derbyshire
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 1 Jan Derbyshire
Comma Polygonia c-album 3 Jan Derbyshire
Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia    
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia    
Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia    
Duke of Burgundy  Hamearis lucina    
Small Copper  Lycaena phlaeas 29 March Suffolk
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae    
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus    
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 1 April Sussex
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album    
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni    
Small Blue  Cupido minimus    
Holly Blue  Celastrina argiolus 18 March Cornwall
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