Warwickshire's Butterflies

Our region supports a range of butterfly species. Many are still common, some are at increasing risk due to habitat loss and human pressures while others are seriously threatened due to their very limited distribution in the county as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation.

The list below contains all species that currently occur in our region. Regionally extinct and rare species are listed separately. More information about the status of each species in our region is available by clicking on the species photos below.

The species numbers provided follow Agassiz (2013) which supersedes the numbering scheme originally published by Bradley and Fletcher (1979).

Skippers (Family Hesperiidae)

In Warwickshire, Coventry, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield (VC38), the Hesperiidae family is represented by five species. Known commonly as "skippers" because of their rapid, darting flight, these moth-like butterflies are split in to three sub-families, the Pyrginae represented by two species and Hesperiinae represented by three species. There are no representatives of the sub-family Heteropterinae resident in our region.

Dingy Skipper

Dingy
Skipper

Erynnis tages
57.001 (LBAP)
Grizzled Skipper

Grizzled
Skipper

Pyrgus malvae
57.002
Essex Skipper

Essex
Skipper

Thymelicus lineola
57.005
Small Skipper

Small
Skipper

Thymelicus sylvestris
57.006

Large Skipper

Large
Skipper

Ochlodes venata
57.009

Whites and Sulphurs (Family Pieridae)

In Warwickshire, Coventry, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield (VC38), the Pieridae family is represented by seven species. The pigment (whites, yellows and oranges) are derived from uric acid waste products which deposit themselves on the wing scales during pupation. The pupae of all species from the Pieridae family are positioned in an upright fashion, with a single silk girdle around the middle of the pupae. The family is split into three sub families, the Coliadinae, Dismorphiinae and Pierinae.

Wood White

Wood
White

Leptidea sinapis
58.001 (LBAP)
Orange-tip

Orange-tip


Anthocharis cardamines

58.003
Large White

Large
White

Pieris brassicae
58.006
Small White

Small
White

Pieris rapae
58.007

Green-veined White

Green-veined
White

Pieris napi
58.008
Clouded Yellow

Clouded
Yellow

Colias croceus
58.010 (MIGRANT)
Brimstone

Brimstone


Gonepteryx rhamni

58.013

Vanessids, Fritillaries & Browns (Family Nymphalidae)

In Warwickshire, Coventry, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield (VC38), the Nymphalidae family is represented by sixteen species. They are often referred to as the 'brush-foots' because of the non-functional pair of front legs which are reduced in size and covered with hair-like scales. These forelegs are often tucked under the body of the butterfly. The caterpillars tend to be covered in spines or have other protrusions such as horns on the head or tail. The pupae are angular in shape and are jewel like in appearance with shiny metallic gold or silver spots.

An exception to the above rules is members of the sub-family Satyrinae (The Browns and Ringlets), whose caterpillars feed on grasses. The caterpillars also have pointed projections at the end of the body. It should be noted that the Marbled White despite its appearance is a member of this sub-family, its behaviour and life-cycle being similar to other Browns.

The family is split into five sub families. Apaturinae, Heliconiinae, Limenitinae, Nymphalinae and Satyrinae.

Speckled Wood

Speckled
Wood

Pararge aegeria
59.003
Small Heath

Small
Heath

Coenonympha pamphilus
59.005
Ringlet

Ringlet


Aphantopus hyperantus

59.009
Meadow Brown

Meadow
Brown

Maniola jurtina
59.010

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper


Pyronia tithonus

59.011
Marbled White

Marbled
White

Melanargia galathea
59.012
Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Pearl-bordered
Fritillary

Boloria euphrosyne
59.014 (RE-INTRODUCED)
Silver-washed Fritillary

Silver-washed
Fritillary

Argynnis paphia
59.017

Dark Green Fritillary

Dark Green
Fritillary

Argynnis aglaja
59.019
White Admiral

White
Admiral

Limenitis camilla
59.021
Purple Emperor

Purple
Emperor

Apatura iris
59.022
Red Admiral

Red
Admiral

Vanessa atalanta
59.023

Painted Lady

Painted
Lady

Vanessa cardui
59.024 (MIGRANT)
Peacock

Peacock


Aglais io

59.026
Small Tortoiseshell

Small
Tortoiseshell

Aglais urticae
59.027
Comma

Comma


Polygonia c-album

59.031

Blues, Coppers and Hairstreaks (Family Lycaenidae)

In Warwickshire, Coventry, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield (VC38), the Lycaenidae family consists of nine species split between three sub-families Lycaeninae, Theclinae and Polyommatinae. They are some of our most beautiful species but are easily overlooked due to their small size and behaviour.

Small Copper

Small
Copper

Lycaena phlaeas
61.001
Brown Hairstreak

Brown
Hairstreak

Thecla betulae
61.003
Purple Hairstreak

Purple
Hairstreak

Favonius quercus
61.004
Green Hairstreak

Green
Hairstreak

Callophrys rubi
61.005

White-letter Hairstreak

White-letter
Hairstreak

Satyrium w-album
61.006
Small Blue

Small
Blue

Cupido minimus
61.010 (LBAP/UKBAP)
Holly Blue

Holly
Blue

Celastrina argiolus
61.012
Brown Argus

Brown
Argus

Aricia agestis
61.015

Common Blue

Common
Blue

Polyommatus icarus
61.018