Due to grassland, woodland edges, and urban garden habitats, Aston’s Eyot is a good place to see butterflies and moths.
A good place to see most species is along Plantation Path after midday, where the edge of the plantation creates a sunny sheltered spot. The huge nettlebeds support the caterpillars of butterflies as well as many moths. Below, you’ll see a long list of confirmed species that have been spotted on the eyot. If you’d like to contribute to our observations, then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use our butterfly and moth checksheet (PDF, 41KB) to help you.
Aston’s Eyot butterfly and moth list
- Small Skipper – Thymelicus sylvestris: butterflies thought in the past to be this species all turn out to be the very similar Essex Skippers – but it may occur as it has recently been seen on Christ Church Meadow.
- Essex Skipper – Thymelicus lineola: mostly seen July & August.
- Large Skipper – Ochlodes venata: flies June-August.
- Dingy Skipper – Erynnis tages: occurred in the past when there was more rough grass with Birds-foot trefoil.
- Clouded Yellow – Colias croceus: rare migrant from continental Europe; seen August 2013 and July 2020.
- Brimstone – Gonepteryx rhamni: hibernators fly late March & April, followed by the next generation from May through the summer.
- Large White – Pieris brassicae: seen April-September – supplemented by migrants in spring.
- Small White – Pieris rapae: on the wing March-October, the classic ‘cabbage white’.
- Green-veined White – Pieris napi: mostly seen May-August.
- Orange Tip – Anthocharis cardamines: hibernators emerge in April, followed by a brood in May-June.
- Brown Hairstreak – Thecla betulae: overwintering eggs are regularly found on Blackthorn; it should be on the wing in August & September, but it is hard to spot.
- Purple Hairstreak – Favonius quercus: not yet recorded, but worth looking for on Oak tree crowns in July.
- Small Copper – Lycaena phlaeas: can be seen from March to October; somewhat irregular on Aston’s Eyot.
- Brown Argus – Aricia agestis: not reported after 1994 until 2018 when it reappeared, but only singles seen in that year and 2020. Flies in May-June & August. NB: needs photo to confirm, as very similar to female Common Blue.
- Common Blue – Polyommatus icarus: a post-hibernation emergence in April is followed by a new generation in June-July; small numbers on Aston’s Eyot/Kidneys.
- Holly Blue – Celastrina argiolus: The first brood flies in April-May, the second in July-August.
- Red Admiral – Vanessa atalanta: overwintering adults fly in late March/April, main emergence in late summer.
- Painted Lady – Vanessa cardui: migrant from the continent, infrequent on Aston’s Eyot though more often seen in local gardens.
- Small Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae: overwintering adults fly in late March/April, main emergences in June & August-September.
- Peacock – Inachis io: overwintering adults fly in late March/April, main emergence in late summer.
- Comma – Polygonia c-album: overwintering adults fly in late March/April, main emergence from June onwards.
- Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria: has a long season, can be seen from April through to October or even November.
- Marbled White – Melanargia galathea serena: not seen since 1987 until 2011; initially Kidneys, spread to restored meadows on AE; small numbers only.
- Gatekeeper / Hedge Brown – Pyronia tithonus: mostly on the wing in July & August.
- Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina: mostly seen June-September.
- Small Heath – Coenonympha pamphilus: only recorded in July 2011.
- Ringlet – Aphantopus hyperantus: on the wing in July & August.
(List last revised 25.03.2022)
Seen something interesting?
From the arrival of the first winter migrant birds, to something that leaves you stumped, please get in touch – and remember, a photo always helps!