Butterflies reported to the website breaking records

a blue male and brown female butterfly both with orange spots and blue studs mating
Silver-studded Blues mating. Photo: Mel Bray

Compared to last year, most of this year has been better, though mid-June was actually down on last year’s totals. However, the recent spell of sunny weather has changed that with numbers being up by 38% at the end of June and now [4 July] up 45%.

The month of June saw 19, 651 butterflies reported to this website, which is a record! This was partly down to a lot of reports (for which grateful thanks), but also to high numbers of some species, such as 459 Meadow Browns at Kingcombe, and 372 Silver-studded Blues at Higher Hyde. The recent influx of Painted Ladies also helped, with their total being 738 compared to 181 in the whole of last year.

We will not be able to tell how things have panned out until the end of the year, but some species are already looking good compared to last year. For example, taking figures to the end of June this year compared with the full year in 2018:

  • Orange Tip 826 (443 last year)
  • Silver-studded Blue 2,614 (1,924)
  • Small Blue 627 (605)
  • Small Copper 496 (474)
  • Small Heath 2,272 (1831)
Dark brown butterfly with a faint dusting of blue scales and a white fringe

Small Blue. Photo: Shona Refoy

Please keep the records coming in. We are now in the final year of the current five-year recording cycle, so we particularly want areas where no butterflies have been reported to be searched. We call these white holes and we have a map to show you where they are. Do note that the colour of the squares on the map only changes monthly; to see more recent sightings put a tick in the box for ‘markers’.

 

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