Butterfly Atlases

A guide to Dorset butterfly populations over time

Distribution map for Adonis Blue

Map showing distribution of Adonis Blue butterfly, 2010-2014

Our Butterfly Atlases are vitally important because they show the location of species and, over time, measure distribution changes and the possible effects of climate change. This gives us the information we need to help various species in appropriate ways.

The butterfly records that we collect are cumulated nationally every five years, at the end of which period recording starts again. Our oldest butterfly records date from 1970. Twenty-first century cycles started with 2000-2004.

The species pages listed below give a major analysis of both long and short term data for Dorset's butterflies from 1970 to 2014. Details of previous atlases are listed on this page below. See also:

Atlas by species

Click on individual species to see the analysis:


The first two publications of Dorset's butterfly records were published in book form (both out of print):

  • 'Butterflies of Dorset' (1984) by Jeremy Thomas & Nigel Webb, published by the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society. This mainly coversĀ 1970-1984, but pulls on older records for rarer species.
  • 'New Atlas of Dorset Butterflies' (1998) by Jeremy Thomas, Richard Surrey, Bill Shreeves & Carolyn Steele, published by the Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society. This updates 'Butterflies of Dorset' and takes the records up to 1997.
  • 1995-1999 was produced by the Dorset Branch of Butterfly Conservation in A4 format. It will be published on this website in due course.
  • 2000-2004 was produced in the same way as the previous five-year cycle. There is a poor quality reproduction of it, which will be improved in due course.