Butterfly Conservation
Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch
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Millhopper's Reserve

Species Accounts

Accounts have been prepared for species one would expect to see somewhere in our branch area. Occasional vagrants or rare migrants, like the Camberwell Beauty, are not included. The 36 associated species are listed in the 'box' below. To select a species, click inside the box then click the 'Go' button.

The top of each species page shows two images of the adult butterfly uppersides usually with the male on the left and the female on the right, but in some cases both sexes look very similar. Each species is described under the following headings:

Distribution and Status

The current range and status of the species in the two counties and how the species has fared since the 1980s when Sawford's and Plant's books on butterflies for Hertfordshire and London respectively, were published. Andrew Wood's recent publication and his annual reports were consulted to prepare this section. The distribution map is taken from the 2019 annual report and will be replaced several months after publication of the report. The mapping is run over a 5-year cycle (e.g. 2015-2019) so that comparisons can be made with the previous 5-year period. The coloured circles represent a measure of abundance. For example, a red circle indicates that at least ten specimens were seen on one visit to a site in the tetrad (2km square)

Habitat Requirements

The habitats the species is most likely to be found

Larval Foodplants

Only the primary foodplants are given here as noted on Peter Hardy's database but a special mention may be made here specific to Hertfordshire and Middlesex

Adult Food Sources

The flowers most likely to be visited for nectar for the butterfly. Peter Hardy's database is again used here with food sources listed in order of the number of observed or quoted instances of the species using that source. The first one is the most frequently visited source. Other food sources like aphid honeydew will also be mentioned

Behaviour/Observation notes

Things to look out for when out in the field and the best times of the day to take close-up photographs. Behaviour of the sexes are different and may be explained here like male territorial activity. Also provided are distinguishing features for look-alike species

Life History

The months in the year when we are most likely to see the butterfly on the wing. The phenology chart on the right illustrates the previous year's flight times against the average during the prior decade (e.g. 2000-2009). A brief description of the butterfly's life cycle is provided including the stage in which the butterfly overwinters

Further information

More information on the species can be found on this and other websites for which associated links are listed here


Eeles, P.UK Butterflies website
Hardy, Peter B.British butterfly hostplant and nectar source data
Plant, Colin W. (1987), The Butterflies of the London Area, London Natural History Society, London
Riley, Adrian M. (2007), British and Irish Butterflies, Brambleby Books, Luton
Sawford, Brian (1987), The Butterflies of Hertfordshire, Castlemead Publications, Ware
Thomas, Jeremy and Lewington, Richard (2014), The Butterflies of Britain & Ireland, British Wildlife Publishing, Oxford
Wood, Andrew (2016), Butterflies of Hertfordshire and Middlesex, Hertfordshire Natural History Society, St. Albans
Wood, Andrew (2017), Hertfordshire and Middlesex Butterflies February 2017 (covering 2016 records), Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch of Butterfly Conservation
Wood, Andrew (2018), Hertfordshire and Middlesex Butterflies February 2018 (covering 2017 records), Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch of Butterfly Conservation
Wood, Andrew (2019), Hertfordshire and Middlesex Butterflies February 2019 (covering 2018 records), Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch of Butterfly Conservation
Wood, Andrew (2020), Hertfordshire and Middlesex Butterflies February 2020 (covering 2019 records), Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch of Butterfly Conservation


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