Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies
British Butterflies: Species
Butterflies by family
There are a total of 59 species of butterfly which breed in Britain plus several extinct species and a few migrants. These are separated into five families, within which are several sub-families.

Species list sorted by family and common name.
Butterfly identification
Use our new online identification
tool
using a series of simple
questions to help you identify
a butterfly quickly and easily.

Online identification tool
European butterflies
Just a few species that
I have encountered
during my travels in
Europe.

European butterflies
Top Ten British Butterflies
Brimstone Comma Holly Blue Orange-tip Painted Lady Peacock Red Admiral Small Copper Small Tortoiseshell Speckled Wood
Brimstone Comma Holly Blue Orange-tip Painted Lady Peacock Red Admiral Small Copper Small Tortoiseshell Speckled Wood
Family Hesperiidae Hesperiidae - The Skippers
In Britain, the Hesperiidae family consists of eight (8) resident species and three (3) extinct species. Known commonly as "skippers" because of their rapid flight, these moth-like butterflies are split in to three sub-families, the Pyrginae, Hesperiinae and Heteropterinae .

Find out more about the butterflies of the family Hesperiidae.
Family Lycaenidae Lycaenidae - The Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks & Metalmarks
The Lycaenidae family is a large group of small butterflies. These are some of our most beautiful yet most overlooked butterflies due to their size and habitat requirments. The family consists of sixteen (16) resident and two (2) rare migrant species. it is split into two subfamilies, namely the Lycaeninae and Riodininae.

Find out more about the butterflies of the family Lycaenidae.
Family Nymphalidae Nymphalidae - The Emperors, Fritillaries, Admirals and Browns
The Nymphalidae family contains twenty-five (25) resident species and two (2) regular migrants plus several rare migrants and extinct species. The family is split into seven sub families, the Apaturinae, Heliconiinae, Melitaeinae, Limenitinae, Nymphalinae, Satyrinae and Danainae.

Find out more about the butterflies of the family Nymphalidae.
Family Papilionidae Papilionidae - The Swallowtails
The Papilionidae family consists of one (1) resident species. The Swallowtail, is a stunning butterfly which has evolved in to a sub-species due to its isolation in the UK. The European sub-species of the Swallowtail occurs as a rare migrant around the south coast of the UK.

Find out more about the butterflies of the family Papilionidae.
Family Pieridae Pieridae - The Whites and Sulphurs
The Pieridae family consists of seven (7) resident species and one (1) regular migrant. The family is split into three sub families, the Coliadinae, Pierinae and Dismorphiinae.

Find out more about the butterflies of the family Pieridae.
Flight charts

When is the best time of year to look for Green Hairstreak? What butterflies can I expect to see this month?

Butterflies in January Butterflies in February Butterflies in March Butterflies in April Butterflies in May Butterflies in June Butterflies in July Butterflies in August Butterflies in September Butterflies in October Butterflies in November Butterflies in December
Lifecycle charts
Charts illustrating the annual lifecycle of each species currently unavailable
Butterflies of Britain ID Chart
Your personal guide to British Butterflies. This 8-panel laminated chart is designed for speedy butterfly identification in the field. Ideal for anyone interested in identifying butterflies, perfect for children and adults and ideal for outdoor use, laminated, shower-proof and robust.
Butterflies of Britain (Laminated ID Chart).
£4.00
each + p&p

Online store
Visit our online store for many more butterfly related books and gifts.
Alternative species list
A list all of the species found in the UK with links to detailed information and photographs.

View species list sorted by;
Common (vernacular) name
Latin name
Family
UK status
Bradley & Fletcher Number
Butterflies in England and Wales
Northern England
Central England
Eastern England
Southern England
Wales
Butterflies in Scotland
Northern Scotland
Eastern Scotland
Western Scotland
Butterflies in Ireland
Northern Ireland currently unavailable
Republic of Ireland currently unavailable
Species distribution maps

Maps showing the distribution of each species can be viewed here.