Butterflies

The butterflies that might be seen on the Isle of Skye are:


Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Very rare. Prefers gardens and allotments.
Flight period: late May to early September.

Small White (Pieris rapae)
Very rare. Prefers gardens and allotments.
Flight period: late April to late June, mid-July to mid-September.

Green-veined White (Pieris napi)
Our commonest species. Frequents a wide variety of habitats.
Flight period: late April to late June, mid-July to early September.

Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Rare. Frequents damp meadows and streamsides.
Flight period: end of April to mid-June.

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)
Rare - not found in the N and W. A moorland species.
Flight period: end of April to mid-June.

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)
Widely distributed. Likes well-drained grassland.
Flight period: mid-June to late August.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Fairly common. Frequents gardens, open country and woodland.
Flight period: late May to end of July, August to October.

Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui)
Fairly common. Prefers gardens and other flower-rich areas.
Flight period: June to July, August to end of September.

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
Very common. Frequents a wide variety of habitats.
Flight period: April to June, late July to September.

Peacock (Inachis io)
Fairly common. Frequents a wide variety of habitats.
Flight period: end of March to early June, early August to October.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene)
Fairly common in south Skye. Likes damp grassland.
Flight period: end of May to late July.

Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja)
Quite widespread. Frequents a variety of grassland habitats.
Flight period: late June to end of August.

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
Fairly common. A woodland species.
Flight period: late April to June, July to end of September.

Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops)
Common. Frequents a variety of grassland habitats.
Flight period: late July to early September.

Grayling (Hipparchia semele)
Rare. A strictly coastal species.
Flight period: end of June to end of August.

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Widespread. Frequents a variety of grassland habitats.
Flight period: late June to mid-August.

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
Very common. Frequents a variety of grassland habitats.
Flight period: end of May to early August.

Large Heath (Coenonympha tullia)
Common in the south of the island. Likes boggy moorland.
Flight period: mid-June to early August.

Copyright: Steve Terry

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) - female

Copyright: Steve Terry

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) - male

Copyright: Steve Terry

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) - male

Copyright: Steve Terry

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Peacock (Inachis io)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Green-veined White (Pieris napi)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Grayling (Hipparchia semele)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)


Useful links: Highland Butterflies
Butterfly Conservation
Scottish Natural Heritage
UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme