Butterflies of Northamptonshire
Historical view of Weekley Hall Wood

The 36 species of Butterfly regularly found in Northamptonshire

Photos by Jeff Blincow

Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae
Locally common
Habitat: Meadows

Brigstock CP
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages
Locally common
Habitat: Grassland

Brigstock CP
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola
Common
Habitat: Flowery meadows
Difficult to distinguish from Small Skipper

Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris
Very common
Habitat: Flowery grassland
Difficult to distinguish from Essex Skipper

Large Skipper Ochlodes venata
Very common
Habitat: Meadows and woodland edges


Large White Pieris brassicae
Very common
Habitat: Most habitats
Also known as Cabbage White

Small White Pieris rapae
Very common
Habitat: Most habitats


Green-veined White Pieris napi
Very common
Habitat: Most habitats
Often mistaken for Small White

Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines
Common
Habitat: Most habitats


Clouded Yellow Colias crocea
Migrant
Habitat: Most open habitats
Migrant from the continent
Numbers vary from year to year but always uncommon
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni
Common
Habitat: Most habitats


Wood White Leptidea sinapis
Locally uncommon
Habitat: Forest clearings and woodland edges
Feeble flight is distinctive
Salcey Forest
Purple Emperor Apatura iris
Locally uncommon
Habitat: Oak woodland
A large butterfly with a powerful flight, usually stays in the tree tops
Hazelborough Forest, Fermyn Wood
White Admiral Ladoga camilla
Locally common
Habitat: Broad-leaved woodland
Seen gliding through woodland glades on warm summer days
Salcey Forest, Bucknall Wood, Fermyn Wood
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae
Very common
Habitat: Most habitats
Adults overwinter

Comma Polygonia c-album
Common
Habitat: Most habitats
Two generations, the first is lighter in colour, adults overwinter

Painted Lady Cynthia cardui
Regular summer visitor from North Africa
Habitat: Most habitats
Often on or near thistles

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
Common summer visitor from Continental Europe
Habitat: Most habitats
Territorial and so can be found in the same place each day

Peacock Inachis io
Very common
Habitat: Most habitats
Distinctive gliding flight, adults overwinter

Marbled White Melanargia russiae
Locally common
Habitat: Grassland


Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina
Very common
Habitat: Grassland, hedgerows and woodland edges


Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus
Common
Habitat: Grassland, hedgerows and woodland edges
Also known as Hedge Brown

Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus
Common
Habitat: damp woodland and hedgerows


Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus
Locally common
Habitat: Meadows


Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria
Common
Habitat: Woodland


Wall Brown Lasiommata megera
Frequent
Habitat: Grassland


Purple Hairstreak Quercusia quercus
Locally common
Habitat: Oak woodland


Black Hairstreak Strymonidia pruni
Scarce
Habitat: Woodland with Blackthorn
Very restricted range in Britain
Glapthorn Cow Pasture
White-letter Hairstreak Strymonidia w-album
Scarce
Habitat: Broad-leaved woodland including elms
Decline due to loss of larval foodplant: elms

Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi
Locally common
Habitat: Grassland with scrub
Fast active flight
Brigstock CP
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas
Locally common
Habitat: Open countryside


Small Blue Cupido minimus
Locally uncommon
Habitat: Usually chalk grassland


Chalkhill Blue Polyommatus coridon
Locally uncommon
Habitat: Chalk grassland

Collyweston Delphs
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus
Locally uncommon
Habitat: Grassland, hedgerows and woodland edges


Brown Argus Aricia agestis
Locally uncommon
Habitat: Grassland
Resembles a female blue
Collyweston Delphs
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus
Common
Habitat: Grassy places
The only blue to be found commonly in Northmaptonshire