[Simon Thurgood Images] [Simon Thurgood Images]


[introtobut1]Introduction to the Butterfly Section

There are around 20,000 species of Butterflies in the world of which there are more than 500 Butterflies in Europe. Unfortunately at this stage I have not been able to photograph every species but this Gallery is growing.

I have split the species into family groups and should be easy for you to find. There are also some passages about Butterflies to help you understand them such as their Life Cycle.

If you click on the Blue Icon that accompanies each species,you will link to the brilliant UK Butterflies web site.

Here are some other websites that might be of interest:

[butterflylifecycle1]Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Life cycle

It is a popular belief that butterflies have very short life spans. However, butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year depending on the species. Many species have long larval life stages while others can remain dormant in their pupae or egg stages and thereby survive winters.

Butterflies may have one or more broods per year. The number of generations per year varies from temperate to tropical regions with tropical regions showing a trend towards multivoltinism.

To learn more click on picture;o)

[buttsgarden2]Butterflies in your Garden

Designing a butterfly border

[topbutf1]Topography of a Butterfly

Here are some Pictures showing names to parts of a Butterfly.

[smalltort5]Admirals, Emperors and Vanessids.

A worldwide group of several thousand medium-sized species,with about 70 representatives in Europe. All the species have reduced forelegs and most are colourful,strong flying butterflies. The upper-side colour pattern usually differs from that of the underside, but males and females resemble each other fairly closely. The caterpillars are generally covered in spines. The chrysalids are often ornamented with shiny gold or silver markings and are suspended from hooks at the tail end.


What it says on the tin!

[grayling1]Browns and Coppers

This large family, with over 3000 species is most abundant in temperate regions. Over 100 species live in Europe, many of them in the mountains. Most have eye-spots on the wings and the males of many species have a dark patch near the centre of the front wing. This patch, known as a scent brand, consists of scent-emitting scales used during courtship. The caterpillars are usually green or brown,finely hairey and tapered at both ends. They feed almost entirely on grasses. The chrysalids either hang from tail hooks or lie in a loose cocoon on the ground.


This is a group of butterfly species in diverse genera with the common name fritillary that inhabit the UK. The term refers to the chequered markings on the wings, usually black on orange. Most fritillaries belong to the family Nymphalidae.

[dburgundy3]Duke of Burgundy

Part of the "RIODINIDAE". Represented in Europe by a single species.


Members of the LYCAENIDAE family, most Hairstreaks prefer woodland areas.


The skippers are mostly small species with a broad head and body, and only make short, swift, darting flights. The club of the antenna is usually rather pointed and curved, all six legs are well developed. Many are sombrely coloured above and the underside provides the best guide to identity.Femals differ little from the males in colour pattern, but the males of several species have a dark scent brand on thefront wing. They rest either with the wings folded together above the back or held in a tent-like fashion.


A large group with over 500 mostly large and colourful butterflies, mainly tropical. Most have tailed hind wings and all have 3 pairs of functional legs. The caterpillar has a retractable fleshy process behind the head. The pupa is usually attached to the food plant in a upright position by tail hooks and a girdle of silk.

[gvwh1]Whites and Yellows

A worldwide group of 2000 medium sized species, with almost 40 species in Europe. Males usually differ slightly from females in colour-pattern.All six legs are functional. The caterpillars lack spines and are usually green in colour. Most feed on legumes(Pea Family) or crucifers (Cabbage Family). The chrysalis is attached head-up to thefoodplant by tail hooks and a girdle of silk.

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