Cheshire Butterflies

This is a list of butterflies that can be found in Cheshire compiled from our records.

For more detailed information please refer to the annual Cheshire & Wirral Butterfly Reports

 

Small Skipper - click here for a bigger picture

Small Skipper
(Thymelicus sylvestris)

Presently a common and widespread resident, although virtually unknown prior to the mid-1970's. More information.

Large Skipper - click here for a bigger picture

Large Skipper
(Ochlodes faunus)

A common and widespread resident, but with smaller numbers recorded during the last few years. More information.

Dingy Skipper

Dingy Skipper
(Erynnis tages)

An uncommon resident which, during periods in the twentieth century, was more widespread than at present. More information.

Grizzled Skipper

Grizzled Skipper
(Pyrgus malvae)

Extinct. Formerly an uncommon resident in the county with several colonies still in existence in the 1940ís and early 1950ís, but with a last sighting on the Wirral in 1971.

 

Wood White
(Leptidea sinapis)

Extinct. Not reliably recorded in the county since the nineteenth century. Last sightings on the Wirral in 1855.

Clouded Yellow

Clouded Yellow
(Colias croceus)

An irregular immigrant, but with a few insects recorded in most years.

 

Pale Clouded Yellow
(Colias hyale)

An extreme rarity in Britain with identification difficult due to closely related species. There have been no confirmed sightings in Cheshire since the early 1940ís.

Brimstone

Brimstone
(Gonepteryx rhamni)

Now a fairly common resident in the east of the county; scarcer in the west. More information.

Large White

Large White
(Pieris brassicae)

An abundant and widespread resident with numbers sometimes augmented by immigrants.

Small White

Small White
(Pieris rapae)

An abundant and widespread resident, but seen in lower numbers in upland areas.

Green-veined White - click here for a bigger picture

Green-veined White
(Pieris napi)

A widespread and abundant resident, especially during favourable weather conditions in damp years. More information.

Orange Tip - click here for a bigger picture

Orange Tip
(Anthocharis cardamines)

A common and widespread resident throughout the county. More information.

Green Hairstreak - click here for a bigger picture

Green Hairstreak
(Callophrys rubi)

Most populations now confined to the Pennine foothills, plus a few isolated colonies in lowland areas. More information.

Purple Hairstreak - click here for a bigger picture

Purple Hairstreak
(Favonius quercus)

Relatively common, especially at sites on the Wirral and in the south-west of Cheshire. More information.

White-letter Hairstreak - click here for a bigger picture

White-letter Hairstreak
(Satyrium w-album)

Not uncommon, but elusive and probably still under-recorded. More information.

Small Copper

Small Copper
(Lycaena phlaeas)

A common and widespread resident, but with numbers fluctuating annually. More information.

Geranium Bronze

Geranium Bronze
(Cacyreus marshalli)

A resident of South Africa that has been accidentally introduced into the UK on cultivated species of Pelagonium. A single insect was found in Cheshire at Burwardsley on 31st August 2010.

 

Long-tailed Blue
(Lampides boeticus)

An extremely rare visitor to Britain. Only sightings in Cheshire were of single butterflies at Heswall in 1887 and Huntington in 2006.

Small Blue

Small Blue
(Cupido minimus)

Extinct. The only county record dates back to the nineteenth century when it was recorded from Neston.

Silver-studded Blue - Click here for a bigger picture

Silver-studded Blue
(Plebeius argus)

Became extinct in the county during the 1920's, but re-introduced at one site on the Wirral in 1994. Not seen since 2004 and must now be considered extinct again. Learn more.

Common Blue

Common Blue
(Polyommatus icarus)

Still a widespread resident, although much scarcer in recent times due to loss of habitat. More information.

Holly Blues - click here for a bigger picture

Holly Blue
(Celastrina argiolus)

A fairly common and widespread resident, although undergoes cyclical fluctuations. More information.

 

Duke of Burgundy
(Hamearis lucina)

Extinct. The only Cheshire records date to the mid-1800ís when there were several reports from between Hooton and Eastham on the Wirral.

White Admiral

White Admiral
(Limentis camilla)

The first new species to be added to the Cheshire list since 1976, the White Admiral was seen in 2004 and 2006. More information.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral
(Vanessa atalanta)

An annual immigrant of varying abundance, but often common and widespread.

Painted Lady

Painted Lady
(Vanessa cardui)

An annual immigrant, often recorded in small numbers, although 1996 produced a massive influx. More information.

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell
(Aglais urticae)

An extremely common and widespread resident with immigration noted in some years.

 

Large Tortoiseshell
(Nymphalis polychloros)

During the mid-1800ís this butterfly was resident in the county in small numbers. Last confirmed sighting was at Chester in 1876.

 

Camberwell Beauty
(Nymphalis antiopa)

A rarity in the county, although sightings (some of them possibly unauthorised releases) have increased over the last few years.

Peacock

Peacock
(Aglais io)

A common and widespread resident that has become more numerous since the 1970's.

Comma

Comma
(Polygonia c-album)

A common and widespread resident that has extended its range in Cheshire since the early 1980's. More information.

Small Pearl-borded Fritillary - click here for a bigger picture

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
(Boloria selene)

A scarce resident, although possibly extinct at its last breeding site since 2013.More information.

Pearl-borded Fritillary

Pearl-bordered Fritillary
(Boloria euphrosynes)

Extinct. Still bred at several sites in the county in the early 1900ís, but colonies continued to be lost until there was a final confirmed sighting at Delamere in 1941.

High Brown Fritillary

High Brown Fritillary
(Argynnis adippe)

Extinct. Few records exist of the status of this butterfly in Cheshire, other than reports from the Delamere area in 1919 and 1922.

Dark Green Fritillary - click here for a bigger picture

Dark Green Fritillary
(Argynnis aglaja)

Formerly bred in Cheshire, but still recorded in most years as a scarce vagrant. More information.

Silver-washed Fritillary - click here for a bigger picture

Silver-washed Fritillary
(Argynnis paphia)

A rarity, although there have been recent sightings in 1995, 2006, 2013 and 2014.More information.

 

Marsh Fritillary
(Euphydryas aurinia)

Extinct. This butterfly bred at several sites in the county during the mid-1800ís, but was last recorded in the Wych Valley in 1882.

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood
(Pararge aegeria)

An abundant and widespread resident that has significantly extended its range in recent years.

Wall

Wall
(Lasiommata megera)

Formerly a widespread resident, but in recent years only thinly distributed in very small numbers.

Marbled White

Marbled White
(Melanargia galathea)

A rarity in the county with only single vagrants occasionally recorded.

Grayling - click here for more information

Grayling
(Hipparchia semele)

A fairly uncommon resident, mainly restricted to coastal localities on the Wirral. More information.

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper
(Pyronia tithonus)

An abundant and widespread resident that has extended its range in recent years.

Meadow Brown - click here for a bigger picture

Meadow Brown
(Maniola jurtina)

A very common and widespread resident, with little change of status noted. More information.

Ringlet

Ringlet
(Aphantopus hyperantus)

Formerly a rarity, but since 1997 has spread rapidly throughout the county.More information.

Small Heath - click here for more information.

Small Heath
(Coenonympha pamphilus)

Formerly common and widespread, but now mainly restricted to the Wirral and Pennine foothills. More information.

Large Heath

Large Heath
(Coenonympha tullia)

Extinct. Formerly bred on mosslands in Cheshire, with drainage for industrial and agricultural purposes a prime cause for the loss of some colonies. Last authenticated record from Delamere in 1929.

 

Monarch
(Danaus plexippus)

A great rarity in the county with the last genuine migrant seen near Nantwich in 1999.