March butterflies take Dorset up to 15 species

view of a pair of mating Small Coppers
Small Coppers. Photo: Andy Martin

Butterfly numbers still appear to be well up on last year. Going by the sightings sent into this website, numbers are up: 1,260 butterflies recorded to the end of March this year, versus only 190 for the same period last year: an increase of 563%!

We are up to 15 species so far.

  • Brimstone are already up to 524, compared to a total of 970 last year.
  • Peacock 360 (709 total last year)
  • Small Tortoiseshell 59 (500)
view of a Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on lavender

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Paul Davidson

For a full list of what is out and how many have been seen go to our “This year versus last year” page.

The page mentioned above also compares first sighting dates between this year and last, and shows all but the Brimstone were reported earlier this year than last. You do, however, always have to bear in mind that this can reflect what sightings are sent in more than what butterflies are actually on the wing, but it broadly representative.

Let’s hope numbers continue to be high throughout the year, especially of the Small Tortoiseshell, which appears to be in trouble for reasons unknown.

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