Featured here is my own collection of butterflies to date, which includes a photograph of each the species that I’ve seen and photographed locally to where I live in coastal North Wales. Where possible I’ve given images of the upper and undersides of a male and a female of each species. Clicking on any image will give you an enlarged view. There are a few species that I’ve not managed to see and/or photograph yet, but I’m ever hopeful and will add them when and if I’m successful! This first page is a summary of species in their respective family groups, for anyone that just wants a quick identification of a butterfly they’ve seen, or for those who want to know what I’ve seen in my home area. For a more detailed and personalised account of each species, and notes of where and when I have seen them, click on the link below the photographs of each family of butterflies i.e. WHITES, BROWNS etc and that will take you to a more detailed page – it saves a lot of scrolling down!




WHITE & YELLOW BUTTERFLIES : family pieridae

The members of this family can be tricky to tell apart as they are basically either white or yellow, and apart from the Brimstone, are all marked with black. The sexes usually differ from each other in the amount and arrangement of the black markings and as with the Orange Tip, may differ in colour.

Large White Pieris brassica; Small White Pieris rapae; Green-veined White Pieris  napi; Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines; Brimstone Gonepterix rhamni

For more photographs and details on individual species click here: Whites


BROWNS : family satyridae

As their collective title of ‘Browns’ suggests, the butterflies of this family are mainly coloured in shades of brown, but each species is quite distinctive in their markings and in the size and arrangement of their characteristic eyespots.

Speckled Wood Paragae aegeria; Wall Brown Lasiommata megera; Grayling Hipparchia Semele; Grayling ssp: Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina; Gatekeeper Pyronia tythonus; ; Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus; Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus

For more details on individual species click here: Browns


HAIRSTREAKS, COPPERS & BLUES : family lycaenidae

Most of the members of this family are small and many are brightly coloured, often showing a metallic sheen on the upperside their wings.

The Hairstreaks are named for the fine white streaks on the underside of their wings and have short tails on their hindwings. They can be tricky to spot as they frequent trees and shrubs, often the tops, so most often seen as small dots above the tree canopy.

Green Hairstreak Callophyrs rubi ; Purple Hairstreak Quercusia querqus ; White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album

Blues and Coppers tend to fly close to the ground and feed on nectar of low-growing plants. The sexes of the Blue butterflies often have very different appearances; females are often coloured brown and bearing little resemblance to the shiny blue males.

Holly Blue Celastrina argiolusCommon Blue Polyommatus icarus; Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus ssp. caernensis; Brown Argus Aricia agestis; Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas  

For more photographs details on individual species click here: Hairstreaks, Coppers & Blues


VANESSIDS & FRITILLARIES: family nymphalidae

This is a large family of butterflies that contains two fairly distinctive groups, the familiar multi-coloured vanessids that in my collection includes the Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma and the mainly orange and black fritillaries that are not as common and widespread and of which so far, I have only managed to add one species, the beautiful Dark Green Fritillary.

Small Tortoishell Nymphalis urticae ; Red Admiral Vanessa Atalanta; Painted LadyVanessa cardui; Peacock Nymphalis io; Comma Polygonia c-album Dark Green FritillaryArgynnis aglaja; Grayling Hipparchia semele & Grayling Hipparchia semele ssp Thyone (on the Great Orme)

For more details on individual species click here: Vanessids & Fritillaries


SKIPPERS: family hesperiidae

This family were named ‘skippers’ due to their quick, bouncing flight, which is quite different to that of other butterflies. They are small with chunky bodies, giving them a moth-like appearance. Their antennae are widely separated at the base and strongly curved or hooked at the tip. Five of our eight British species have golden-orange uppersides and are called ‘golden skippers’: these all bask with their forewings partly raised and the males have conspicuous lines or patches of scent-emitting scales.

Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus; Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages

For more photographs and details on species click here: Skippers









2 thoughts on “Butterflies”

  1. Thank you Kate, it’s not a complete list by any means and I’m always on the look out for new-to-me species to add to my collection. My best tip for helping to identify butterflies is to try to find out what you can expect to see in the area you are spotting in. You can save yourself a lot of guessing & hunting through ID guides that way! Happy hunting!


  2. Kate Neal said:

    Lovely photos…very helpful for an amateur like me to help distinguish between whites, skippers and to reinforce what I’m looking for in fritillaries!
    Definitely gives me confidence for when I go spotting next week…..


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