Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment

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Which butterflies and moths use gardens?

To have success, you need to know what butterflies and moths are likely to visit your garden. Just because the Swallowtail butterfly likes Milk Parsley doesn't mean that if you plant Milk Parsley in your garden, you will get Swallowtails - they would have to fly from the Norfolk Broads to get to you!

It is easy to pick out the butterflies that are likely to visit your garden - there are only 45 regular species in Sussex, and many of those are restricted to special habitats or have a very restricted range.

With moths, it is more difficult. Even a small urban garden is likely to have 50 species or more passing through, while a big rural garden may have 300 species, but you will hardly see any of them unless you run a moth trap. We have therefore just picked out a sample of species that are either very very common, very distinctive, or have habits that mean they are easy to spot. You will DEFINITELY have more.

Of course, you may be very lucky and live right next to the Downs, or alongside a nature reserve, or near a river, in which case you may get really exciting species, but if you do just feel very smug.








Urban gardens


Red Admiral (Jonathan Ruff)                  Small Tortoiseshell (Tony Wilson)


Peacock (Adrian Thomas)                      Large White (Polly Mair)


Small White (Graham Mepham)                       Holly Blue (Joe Dickens)

Heart and Dart (Sam Bayley)                    Angle Shades (Adrian Thomas)


Dark Arches (Michael Blencowe)           Common Marbled Carpet (Jim Steedman)


Large Yellow Underwing (Adrian Thomas)  Shuttle-shaped dart (Ivan Lang)

Suburban gardens

As above, plus...

Speckled Wood (Andy Hibberd)            Painted Lady (John Eastwood)


Gatekeeper (Michael Blencowe)             Green-veined White (Jim Steedman)


Meadow Brown (Polly Mair)    Orange-tip (Keith Noble)       Comma (Dave Mitchell)

As above, plus


Buff-tip (Neil Hulme)                               Brimstone (Pip Tindall)


Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Peter Clinch) Elephant Hawkmoth (Adrian Thomas)


Privet Hawkmoth (Tony Wilson)            Silver Y (Ivan Lang)

Rural gardens




As above, plus...

Essex Skipper (Tom Ottley)                   Small Skipper (Graham Mepham)


Large Skipper (Geoff Stevens)              Brimstone (Dave Mitchell)


Small Copper (Joe Dickens)                     Common Blue (Barrie Hanson)

Marbled White (Janet Richardson)         Ringlet (Steve Wheatley)

As above, plus...

Leopard Moth (Michael Blencowe)         Lime Hawkmoth (Caroline Clarke)


Swallow-tailed Moth (Michael Blencowe)     Chinese Character (Tony Wilson)


Magpie (Sam Bayley)                           Red Underwing (Ralph Hobbs)

                    Herald (Mike Snelling)                        Lime-speck Pug (Adrian Thomas)

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