Butterflies are some of the most colourful and beautiful insects in the world. In the British Isles there are 59 species of butterfly but, in common with most insects, the numbers of these fascinating creatures fluctuate wildly, being highly susceptible to changes in climate and to habitat.

Here, in Cornwall, we are fortunate to not only have both nationally rare and common resident butterfly species but also migrant species from the continent arriving on favourable air streams. These migrants can sometimes arrive in astonishing numbers and are often included in our Latest Butterfly Sightings. The sight of hundreds of Painted Ladies and Clouded Yellows flying in off the sea to feed ravenously on cliff top flowers is an unforgettable spectacle.

The gallery images and species reports with identification tips are of butterflies we have studied and seen on our travels.

Please note

that whilst every effort is made to provide accurate identifications and information errors can occur.

Other pages that may interest you are:

We are frequently adding new images, reports and pages to the site. We have plans to publish the following soon:

  • British Butterfly Species Guides – life-cycle accounts with photographs
  • Holiday Reports – images of butterfly species and travel information from holidays
  • Migrant Butterflies of the British Isles and Cornwall
  • European Butterfly Gallery – stunning images of Spanish butterflies taken by Paul Browning
  • Cornish Butterfly Sites and notable species
  • Day-flying Moths – often confused with butterflies