Here are 2023's earliest sightings of resident and common migrant butterflies, as reported to Butterfly Conservation.

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 @savebutterflies 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 updated: 17 August 2023

Vernacular name Scientific name Date Location
Swallowtail  Papilio machaon 21 May Norfolk
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages 24 April Surrey
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae 17 April Nottinghamshire
Chequered Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon 6 May Argyll
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola 02 June Cumbria, Dorset
Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris 17 June Sussex
Lulworth Skipper Thymelicus acteon 13 May Dorset
Silver-spotted Skipper Hesperia comma 19 July Surrey
Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus 19 May Conwy
Wood White Leptidea sinapis 10 May Surrey
Cryptic Wood White Leptidea juvernica 23 April Co Armagh
Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines 17 March Northamptonshire
Large White Pieris brassicae 19 March Devon
Small White Pieris rapae 15 Feb London
Green-veined White Pieris napi 2 April London
Clouded Yellow Colias croceus 2 Jan Dorset
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni 2 Jan Suffolk
Wall Lasiommata megera 21 March Cornwall
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria 19 Jan Dorset
Large Heath Coenonympha tullia 29 May Cumbria
Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus 29 April Hampshire, Sussex
Mountain Ringlet Erebia epiphron 27 May Cumbria
Scotch Argus Erebia aethiops 6 July Argyll
Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus 4 June Somerset
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina 25 May Derbyshire
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus 2 June Devon
Marbled White Melanargia galathea 3 June Essex
Grayling Hipparchia semele 26 May Conwy
Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne 20 April Cornwall
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene 11 May Devon
Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia 14 June Cumbria, Devon
Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja 21 May Derbyshire, Dorset
High Brown Fritillary Argynnis adippe 11 June Devon
White Admiral Limenitis camilla 10 June Dorset
Purple Emperor Apatura iris 19 June Sussex
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 1 Jan Northamptonshire
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui 2 Jan Devon, Dorset
Peacock Aglais io 1 Jan Northamptonshire, Northumberland
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 7 Jan Derbyshire
Comma Polygonia c-album 7 Feb Middlesex, Warwickshire
Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia 1 May Hampshire
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia 18 May Isle of Wight
Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia 25 May Devon
Duke of Burgundy Hamearis lucina 20 May Hampshire
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas 4 April Dorset
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae 7 July Surrey
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus 7 June Surrey
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 4 April Devon, Staffordshire
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album 10 June Devon
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni 7 June Cambridgeshire
Small Blue Cupido minimus 10 May Dorset
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus 02 March Cornwall
Large Blue Maculinea arion 26 May Somerset
Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus 6 June Dorset
Brown Argus Aricia agestis 10 May Conwy, Sussex
Northern Brown Argus Aricia artaxerxes 27 May Cumbria
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus 29 April Derbyshire
Adonis Blue Polyommatus bellargus 13 May Dorset
Chalk Hill Blue Polyommatus coridon 26 June Cambridgeshire