Butterfly and Moth Sightings

Why get involved?

Butterfly and moth recording is the foundation upon which the conservation of butterflies is founded.

What should I do ?

Butterfly recording comprises of monitoring and surveying. Monitoring is used to collect information about changes to individual populations or sites over time, normally annually. Surveying is concerned with collecting distribution data and requires visits to several sites to gain a true picture of butterfly distributions. However, if surveys are repeated (e.g. five years later) this could be regarded as monitoring! Remember to take a notebook and pencil into the field to record your sightings. Binoculars and a butterfly net can also be useful.

Broad-barred White

Butterfly Conservation have produced a guide will help you identify all the butterflies, and some of the common day-flying moths that occur in the Lothians and Scottish Borders. It also has a table so you can easily see which species are on the wing at a given time, and suggests some of the best and most easily accessible places in the region for you to see them. We hope this leaflet will encourage you to learn more.

Sharing your sightings

If you have seen or caught a butterfly or moth then why not share this with other branch members.  It might be your first sighting of a species for the year, your first ever or just a cracking photograph! 

Take a look at this year's Butterfly First Sightings Page

The Butterfly Sightings link below will take you to a branch forum where you can register and then create a new topic which can even include a photograph describing your sighting. Others can then view your post and marvel at your photos.   See the Forum User Guide.Small Blue

Butterfly sightings forum

For Moths, please do share your sightings, thoughts and queries on our East Scottish Moths Facebook Group.

Where can I find butterflies?

Most butterflies prefer sheltered sunny locations with plenty of nectar. Several are specialists and will only be found in, or near to, their niche habitat. Other species, particularly the larger and more mobile species e.g. Red Admiral and Painted Lady, can be seen almost anywhere.  A guide to some good sites to see butterflies has been put together and can be accessed at the link below.

Suggested sites

How do I record butterflies?

Records should be sent into Butterfly Conservation's recorders for Butterflies and for Moths.

Getting more involved

Regular surveys can significantly add value to your recording.  Please see our Butterfly Surveys page.


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Butterfly Conservation is a registered charity and non-profit-making company, limited by guarantee.
Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP.
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