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Butterfly Conservation
Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch
Saving butterflies, moths and our environment

First Sightings in Hertfordshire and Middlesex for 2017

Here are 2017's earliest sightings of resident and migrant butterflies, as reported to the branch website
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Butterfly Conservation First Sightings 2017

34 species of butterfly occur most years in Hertfordshire and 32 in Middlesex, together with the occasional migrant or vagrant. The following table lists the first sighting in the two counties that have been reported to the website:

Species Name Scientific Name Hertfordshire Middlesex
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae 8th April 2017 Absent?
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola

Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris

Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus

Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines 30th March 2017 25th March 2017
Large White Pieris brassicae 8th April 2017 19th April 2017
Small White Pieris rapae 30th March 2017 9th March 2017
Green-veined White Pieris napi 2nd April 2017 2nd April 2017
Clouded Yellow Colias croceus

Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni 17th February 2017 17th February 2017
Wall (believed to be now extinct) Lasiommata megera

Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria 15th March 2017 2nd April 2017
Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus

Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus

Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina

Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

Marbled White Melanargia galathea

Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

White Admiral Limenitis camilla

Purple Emperor Apatura iris

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 24th January 2017 2nd January 2017 (new date)
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui 6th April 2017
Peacock Aglais io 26th February 2017 9th March 2017
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 5th January 2017 9th March 2017
Camberwell Beauty Nymphalis antiopa

Comma Polygonia c-album 9th March 2017 17th February 2017
Duke of Burgundy (believed to be extinct) Hamaeris lucina

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas 18th April 2017
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae

Purple Hairstreak Favonius quercus

Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi 9th April 2017 8th April 2017
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album

Long-tailed Blue Lampides boeticus

Small Blue Cupido minimus

Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus 26th March 2017 25th March 2017
Brown Argus Aricia agestis

Common Blue Polyommatus icarus

Chalkhill Blue Polyommatus coridon

N.B. These first sightings are gathered as the butterfly season progresses so as to provide up-to-date information about species emergence. They are not reviewed retrospectively by reference to transect data or distribution records and therefore represent what we believed to be the first report of a species at the time in our branch area rather than a comprehensive analysis of the actual first dates recorded in a particular year.
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