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 update: 30 May 2023

Vernacular name Scientific name Date Location
Swallowtail  Papilio machaon 23 May Norfolk
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages 9 May Anglesey
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae 17 April Nottinghamshire
Chequered Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon 6 May Argyll
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola    
Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris    
Lulworth Skipper Thymelicus acteon 24 May Dorset
Silver-spotted Skipper Hesperia comma    
Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus 19 May Conwy
Wood White Leptidea sinapis    
Cryptic Wood White Leptidea juvernica    
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 3 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 20 May Hampshire
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 25 May Lancashire
Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne 22 April Argyll
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene 25 May Anglesey
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 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 20 May Hampshire
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia    
Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia    
Duke of Burgundy Hamearis lucina 3 May Hampshire
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas 14 April Cornwall
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae    
Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus    
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 7 April Cheshire
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album    
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni    
Small Blue Cupido minimus 20 May Hampshire
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus 16 March Surrey
Large Blue Maculinea arion    
Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus    
Brown Argus Aricia agestis 10 May Conwy
Northern Brown Argus Aricia artaxerxes    
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus 16 May Anglesey
Adonis Blue Polyommatus bellargus 22 May Hampshire
Chalk Hill Blue Polyommatus coridon