Butterfly and moth recording is the foundation upon which the conservation of butterflies and moths is founded.

Butterfly Recording App  Moth recording spreadsheet

Sharing your sightings

Red Admiral (upperwing) by Peter Eeles

If you have seen or caught a butterfly or moth then why not share this with other branch members.  It might be your first sighting of a species for the year, your first ever or just a cracking photograph! To share your sightings, thoughts and queries or to find out what others are seeing then visit our East Scottish Butterflies Facebook Group or our East Scottish Moths Facebook Group

The East Scotland Butterfly News Forum is also available, but may there is a risk that it may go out of support at some point. Users need to register. The forum is used by a dedicated group of butterfly recorders particularly in the Lothians and Borders.

Please send in your records of Butterflies and Moths

Butterfly records

Butterfly recording comprises of monitoring and surveying. Monitoring is used to collect information about changes to individual populations or sites over time, normally annually. Surveying is concerned with collecting distribution data and requires visits to several sites to gain a true picture of butterfly distributions. 

Records should be sent in as soon as possible, so that we can update our database. Every record counts, even the more common species as they can be valuable indicators of change. The preferred method is to use the Butterflies mobile app or to use iRecord directly from your laptop. However, you can also using this document which can be emailed or posted.

Branch area Recorder(s)
Aberdeenshire, including City of Aberdeen North East Scotland Biological Records Centre (contact is Glenn Roberts)
Angus and Perthshire Glyn Edwards
Fife and Clackmannanshire Elspeth Christie & Gillian Fyfe
Lothians and Falkirk Simon Metcalfe
Borders Iain Cowe


If you need to contact one of the recorders then please use our Butterfly Recorder Contact Form.

Recording moths

This is an important part of Butterfly Conservation's work. There are many and varied moths throughout East Scotland and it is well worth spending the time to study them.

Shortcut-based moth recording spreadsheet

The National Moth Recording Scheme was set up in 2007 to provide a national database for the macro moths in the UK and from 2016 for micro moths too. These have been major steps forward for moth recording in the UK. The Branch's County Moth Recorders are responsible for the validation of all submitted records and then sending them on to form part of the National Database.  The NRMS have issued the 2017 Scottish Macro Moth List which is useful in understanding the status of the moth species in Scotland and therefore provides a useful guide for observers.  Similarly there is a Scottish Micro Moth Guidance List which shows which of the British micro species have been recorded in Scotland and for each of Adults, Mines and Cases and provides references to the associated guidance document on the evidence required for identification. The NMRS also has a Data Policy that covers the principles and specifics about how it will handle any data that you will submit.

Submitted records will be validated and submitted to the NMRS. To further add value for moth conservation records may be shared with other moth recorders, with relevant biological records centres, with the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and with other recording schemes and conservation organisations. In return we will try to provide information and support to you, e.g. if you want help with identifications or to know what has already been recorded at your site or in your area contact the relevant County Moth Recorder.

We are very keen for people who record in their gardens or in the wider countryside to send in their moth records. Your records may be of day flying moths, seen on wall around outside house lights or trapped using specialist light traps.

Submissions should be made preferably using Excel to the relevant vice county moth recorder. Template submission forms are available below that ease both record entry and also the recorders' incorporation into the Vice County database. Alternatively, particularly for small numbers or ad hoc records, these can be entered into the Moths Count Online Recording system. Some County Moth Recorders also accept records submitted via the iRecord Moth Recording form, but please check with your own CMR before using this or agree to download your records each year to email it to them.

County VC County Moth Recorder

VC 90

David Lampard


VC 94

Roy Leverton


VC 81

Barry Prater

East Lothian

VC 82

Mark Cubitt

East Perthshire

VC 89

John Thorpe


VC 85

Nigel Voaden


VC 91

Brian Stewart


VC 83

Alastair Sommerville

Mid Perthshire

VC 88

Dan Watson

North Aberdeenshire

VC 93

Mark Young


VC 78

Reuben Singleton


VC 80

Malcolm Lindsay


VC 79

Malcolm Lindsay

South Aberdeenshire

VC 92

Helen Rowe

West Lothian

VC 84

Mark Cubitt

If you need to contact one of the recorders then please use our Moth Recorder Contact Form.

The Vice County recorder may query records from recorders, particularly inexperienced trappers. Please do not be offended by this. It is very important that records on the central database are accurate and we are anxious to avoid unverified records of certain difficult species being entered. Many species are common and easy to identify, but many can only be identified by genitalia examination. Between these two extremes are moths whose identification may be tricky, and records from experienced observers may be accepted more easily than those from the new moth trapper.  Some VC Recorders may issue a grading list with an indication of the evidence required for particular species, but even this should be regarded as a guide based on your experience. For those species requiring genitalia identification then you may wish to review the Code of conduct for collecting insects.