Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)

Peak District local information

When to see: April-September

Where to see: Scrub, wetland, broad-leaved woodland

Behaviour: Patrol

Wingspan: 60-74mm

Caterpillar food plant: Alder Buckthorn (Frangila alnus)

Peak District status: A fairly common resident in the White Peak, where its larval food plant Purging Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) grows in most of the Dales. Seen in much smaller numbers in the Dark Peak. Adults emerge from hibernation in March, but on rare occasions seen as early as January in warm conditions. There are two broods, with numbers usually peaking in April/May and July/August; a few remain on the wing into October.

Brimstone butterfly (male)
Drawing of Brimstone butterfly