Butterflies & moths

Male Common Blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) (image © Mike Poulton)The Rowley Hills are outstanding for their many species of butterflies and moths. Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange-tip, Green Hairstreak, Small Copper, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Dark Green Fritillary (2 only), Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Heath have all been recorded here.  

Additionally, a number of day-flying moths are regularly seen; Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion, Cinnabar, Latticed Heath, Cinnabar, Shaded Broad-bar, Six-spot Burnet, Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet, Small Yellow-underwing, Chimney Sweeper, Six-belted Clearwing, Silver Y and Small Magpie. There are also several smaller day-flying micro-moths which have yet to be identified.

Focus on the Marbled White butterfly

Marbled White butterfly (Melanargia galanthea) (image © Mike Poulton)The Rowley Hills are particularly notable for being the site of one of the very few colonies in Birmingham and the Black Country of Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) butterflies. Predominantly this is a butterfly of southern Britain which in recent years has spread northwards and eastwards, and at some sites has been successfully introduced. Largely sedentary butterflies, not straying far, they are typically found in well-established, flowery grassland habitats, where females flutter among grassy vegetation randomly dropping or depositing eggs on to various grasses upon which the caterpillars feed.

The best time to visit the Rowley Hills to see Marbled Whites is in late June/early July; on a warm sunny day at this time it is possible to see large numbers of these beautiful butterflies fluttering through the grass!

It is vital that the Rowley Hills are protected in order to secure the long-term future of this thriving butterfly colony; visit the How you can help page to see how you can support us.

Butterfly & moth gallery

A selection of photos showing all butterfly and day-flying moth species that have been recorded in the Rowley Hills so far. Click any image to enlarge.



3 thoughts on “Butterflies & moths

  1. Bob

    A quick walk this morning saw Small Heath, Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Orange tip and Green Veined White butterflies along with Burnet Companion moths and loads of Six spot burnet moth chrysalis ready to hatch!



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