Butterfly List

All observations gratefully received – please email info@friendsofastonseyot.org.uk

  • Click here for a butterfly checklist.
  • Click here for detailed historical records of butterflies on Aston’s Eyot

Aston’s Eyot/Kidneys has a typical selection for woodland edge and urban garden, though the huge nettlebeds don’t support the numbers of Vanessids* one might expect – this group’s caterpillars mostly feed on nettles.  The Marbled White, lost since the 1980s, reappeared on the Kidneys in 2011; the Brown Argus has not been reported recently, probably because the grassy and short herb patches they favour have been replaced by nettles and other tall herbs.  The list may well not be complete; sampling has been irregular in the past, but we have been making regular observations since 2011.

*Vanessids are the large showy ones: Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma & Painted Lady

Records supplied by : 1987-2005 TVERC, 2010-onwards Anthony Cheke/Ruth Ashcroft/Laurie Burrell

female orange tipFemale Orange Tip Butterfly

Small Skipper – Thymelicus sylvestris: Mostly seen July & August.

Large Skipper – Ochlodes venata: Flies June-August.

Brimstone – Gonepteryx rhamni: hibernators fly late March & April, followed by the next generation from May through the summer.

Large White – Pieris brassicae: Seen April-September – supplemented by migrants in spring.

Small White – Pieris rapae: On the wing March-October, the classic ‘cabbage white’.

Green-veined White – Pieris napi: Mostly seen May-August.

Orange Tip – Anthocharis cardamines: hibernators emerge in April, followed by a brood in May-June.

Brown Hairstreak – Thecla betulae: overwintering eggs have been found on blackthorn; it should be on the wing in August & September.

Holly Blue – Celastrina argiolus: The first brood flies in April-May, the second in July-August.

Small Copper – Lycaena phlaeas: Can be seen from March to October.

Brown Argus – Aricia agestis: not reported since 1994, perhaps due to a lack of food plants for the caterpillar; flies in May-June & August.

Common Blue – Polyommatus icarus: A post-hibernation emergence in April is followed by a new generation in June-July; irregular on Aston’s Eyot/Kidneys.

Red Admiral – Vanessa atalanta: overwintering adults fly in late March/April, main emergence in late summer:

Small Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae: overwintering adults fly in late March/April, main emergences in June & August-September:

Peacock – Inachis io: overwintering adults fly in late March/April, main emergence in late summer:

Painted Lady – Cynthia cardui: migrant from the continent, infrequent on Aston’s Eyot though often seen in local gardens.

Comma – Polygonia c-album: overwintering adults fly in late March/April, main emergence from June onwards.

Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria: has a long season, can be seen from June through to October or even November.

Marbled White – Melanargia galathea serena: not seen since 1987 until 2011, Kidneys only.

Gatekeeper/Hedge Brown – Pyronia tithonus: mostly on the wing in July & August.

Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina: mostly seen June-September

Ringlet – Aphantopus hyperantus: on the wing in July & August

Small Heath – Coenonympha pamphilus: first recorded in July 2011

[last revised 21/7/2013]