top of page
  • Writer's pictureHarris Brooker

Butterflies of Speyside

In this post we'll take a look at some of the butterfly species found in Speyside. Some are more widespread than others and can be seen in gardens, others are scarcer and less likely to be seen in those places. Not all of them are visible at the same time of year, but this should give you an indicator as to what to look out for.



Red Admiral (Vanessa Atalanta) - A distinctive and common species, the bold red, black and white markings on this butterfly mean that this is unlikely to be confused with any other butterflies. If seen from side on at rest they have a scaly brown colour to them. Within Britain the food plant for the caterpillars is usually Common Nettle. The caterpillars are black and white with spines and irritant hairs along its back to deter birds from eating them. Most commonly seen in the summer and early autumn.

In this image there is a butterfly called a Red Admiral sat on some leaves and has red, black and white markings.
Red Admiral (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
In this image there is a Red Admiral butterfly sat on some gravel and has red, black and white markings.
Red Admiral (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Orangetip (Anthocharis Cardamines) - A distinctive species related to the Whites and Yellows butterfly family. The male is easily recognised by its orange tipped wings that are further tipped by with brown, though it may look black from a distance. When seen at rest from side on the wings are chequered green and white. Females have no orange and have black tipped wings. Adults are seen from mid-April to June.

In this image there is a butterfly called an Orangetip which is white with orange and black wingtips. This one is facing toward the camera and is sat on a dandelion.
Male Orangetip (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is an Orangetip butterfly facing towards the camera sat on a dandelion. It is white with orange and black wingtips. The underside is visible and is white with green scales.
Male Orangetip (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
A male Orangetip butterfly is sat on a pink flowered plant called Lady's Smock and has its wings angled towards the camera and has orange and brown wingtips.
Male Orangetip (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is a female Orangetip butterfly sat on a Lady's Smock and has white wings with black wingtips.
Female Orangetip (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Large White (Pieris Brassicae) - One of the larger species of whites, the male is recognised by its white wings with black wing tips. The female has two dark spots on the forewings that the male doesn’t have. On the underside of the wings, they are creamy white. Adults are seen from April to September.

In this image there is a white butterfly with black wingtips known as the Large White on a white daisy-like flower.
Large White (Photo Credit: Babs Moore)


Green Veined White (Pieris Napi) - A similar species to the Large White and has similar black and white wing markings but is smaller and the wings are greenish yellow with the veins looking as though they’ve been dusted with greenish powder. Adults seen from July to September.

In this image there is a white butterfly called a Green Veined White that is sat on a yellow flower and is showing the underside of its wings which have greenish veins.
Green Veined White (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is a white butterfly called a Green Veined White sat on a yellow flower with its white wings open.
Green Veined White (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Common Blue (Polyommatus Icarus) - The most widespread of the blue family, the males are recognised by their blue wings edged black and white. The female has less blue and more brown to the wings with orange spots on the fore and hind wings. The male has light brown underwings with black, white and orange markings on the edge of the wings. The female has much stronger brown on the underwings and the black and orange spots are bolder too. Adults are seen from June to September.

In this image there is a male Common Blue butterfly sat on a snapped off log and it has its blue wings open with black and white around their edges.
Male Common Blue (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is a female Common Blue which has blue and brown wings.
Female Common Blue (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is a male Common Blue with its wings folded showing its brown wings with black and orange spots.
Male Common Blue (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Small Copper (Lycaena Phlaeas) - A small butterfly on the which the forewings are orange with black spots and brown edging to the wings. The hind wings have more extensive brown with orange edging. They tend to hang out in one spot looking to attract females and will aggressively chase off other insects. Adults are seen from April to October.

In this image there is a Small Copper butterfly with its orange and brown wings open.
Small Copper (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is a Small Copper butterfly with its orange and brown wings held open.
Small Copper (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais Urticae) - A distinctive butterfly with three larger spots at the front of the forewings and three smaller ones slightly behind them. The wings are orange and are edged with blue spots that are bordered black. The underwings have both light and dark brown patches that can make it look like a dead leaf. Adults are seen mainly in June and July.

In this image there is a butterfly called a Small Tortoiseshell with orange wings with black and yellow markings on the upper wings.
Small Tortoiseshell (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is a butterfly called a Small Tortoiseshell with its orange wings open with black and yellow markings on the upper wings.
Small Tortoiseshell (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
In this image there is a butterfly called a Small Tortoiseshell which has its orange, black and yellow wings held open.
Small Tortoiseshell (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Speckled Wood (Pararge Aegeria) - A distinctive butterfly often found in deciduous woodland, hedgerows and grassland. They are recognised by their brown wings with numerous yellow spots. The forewings each have one black spot with a smaller white spot in the middle. The hind wings have three such spots. Males have less bold colours overall whereas the female has bolder colours, especially with regards to the yellow spotting on the wings. Adults are seen from late April to late October.

In this image there is a butterfly called a Speckled Wood which has brown wings with yellowish spots held open.
Speckled Wood (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Peacock (Aglais Io) - This species has a spectacular pattern of red wings with distinctive yellowish blue eye spots on the wings, which are effective at confusing predators. The eye spots act as decoys so that if they are going to be attacked by birds they will attack the eye spots and leave the body intact. Adults are seen from May to July.

In this image there is a butterfly called a Peacock which has red wings and yellow and black eye spots.
Peacock (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)


In this image there is a butterfly called a Peacock with its red wings with black and yellow eyespots held open.
Peacock (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Dark Green Fritillary (Speyeria Aglaja) - Three similar species occur in Speyside. This one has black and orange wings with the key difference being the underwings which aside from having white spots are also greenish. The male has a more open black spot pattern on the wings, with the females appearing bolder with a bolder, denser black spot pattern. Adults are seen from June to August.

In this image there is a butterfly called a Dark Green Fritillary sat on a red clover which has orange wings with black veins.
Dark Green Fritillary (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
In this image there is a Dark Green Fritillary butterfly sat on a spear thistle with its black and orange wings visible. The greenish underside with white spots that gives this species its name are visible.
Dark Green Fritillary (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Pearl Bordered Fritillary (Boloria Euphrosyne) - An orange and black patterned butterfly that differs from the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary by having red chevrons on the underside as opposed to black. They also have a black dot on the underwings but it’s much smaller. Adults fly from mid May to mid June. (Not Pictured Here).



Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (Boloria Selene) - An orange and black patterned butterfly that has  numerous white pearl-like markings surrounded by black chevrons on the underwings. They also have a larger central black dot seen on the underside of the wings. Adults are seen from late May to August.

In this image there is an orange butterfly with black spots and veins called a Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary sat on a gravel road with its wings held open.
Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is a Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary with its under wings visible that have white cells bordered black.
Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)


Ringlet (Aphantopus Hyperantus) - A small brown butterfly named for the ringed markings on its wings. The spots themselves are variable in number and size and may look enlarged or elongated, some have their spots reduced to yellow circles and may occasionally lack the black rings. Has a bobbing flight that it makes even on duller days when other butterflies are inactive. Adults seen from June to August.

In this image there is a brown butterfly with black spots called a Ringlet sat side on, on top of the flowers of a yarrow plant.
Ringlet (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Scotch Argus (Erebia Aethiops) - A brown butterfly with orange patches and eye spots with white centres. Males look darker than females. The number of eyespots on the upper wings is variable though the male usually has three, and the female four. Has scaly brownish grey underwings. Likes to fly in tall damp grassland and on sunny days can fly constantly. Adults are seen from July to September.

In this image there is a brown butterfly with orange patches and black and white spots called a Scotch Argus sat in some grass.
Scotch Argus (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there are several Scotch Argus butterflies on the flowers of a Ragwort.
Scotch Argus (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)


Comma (Polygonia C-Album) - These are large butterflies with orange and brown wings with the wings themselves looking ragged, like leaves that have been munched by caterpillars. Named for the white comma shaped mark on the underside of the wings. Can be seen from March throughout the summer.

In this image there is a butterfly called a Comma which is sat on some heather and has its orange and brown wings open. The wings themselves are serrated like a caterpillar that has been eating leaves.
Comma (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is a butterfly called a Comma which has its wings open and they are orange with black spots.
Comma (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Dingy Skipper (Erynnis Tages) - A butterfly of forest tracks and can occur on heathland too. The male has greyish-brown wings whose forewings are paler than their hind wings and has two rows of white spots. The female is much darker brown overall. Adults are seen in May and June.

In this image there is a brown butterfly called a Dingy Skipper which has its wings held open. This one is a male because its wingtips are browner than the females, which are greyer.
Male Dingy Skipper (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image there is a butterfly called a Dingy Skipper. This one is a female because of its brown wings which have greyer wingtips than the male. It has its wings held open.
Female Dingy Skipper (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

In this image the male and female Dingy Skippers are joined together at the abdomen because they are mating.
Dingy Skippers mating (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

If you would like a chance of seeing butterflies on a day out you can go to our day guide page at: http://bit.ly/sw_DG

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comentários


bottom of page