Butterflies and Moths - Western Isles - Hebrides Insects

Bumblees - Western Isles

Butterflies & Moths
The Hebrides or Western isles are a great place to watch butterflies and moths. You can get observe the butterflies behaviour on both The Isle of Harris and The isle of Lewis

There are around seventeen different butterfly species that have been seen on The Western Isles and many different types of moths.

I shall endeavour to give more details as and when I see them. There are pages in this section for 5 butterfly species that I have managed to photograph along with a few moths.

Meadow Brown Butterfly
Common Blue Butterfly - Western Isles
17  Butterfly Species that have been sighted on the Western Isles
Common Blue Butterfly
This butterfly is commonly seen throughout Scotland and is a common visitor to The Western Isles, indeed it is the UK's most common butterfly species   
 
Monarch Butterfly
This butterfly is a North American butterfly and is rarely seen here and there have only been two sightings to date in The Western Isles . These lovely bright orange butterflies are thought of as the king of all butterflies - hence their name
   
Meadow Brown Butterfly
One of Scotland's most familiar butterflies. Meadow browns are common throughout Scotland and throughout the UK. They can be seen in fields, roadsides, woodland margins.   
 
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
A butterfly that is commonly seen throughout Scotland and The Western Isles. This striking attractive bright orange and black wings has a white spot on its forewing   
     
Large White Butterfly
This species is widely seen throughout the Uk. Brilliant white wings with black tips to forewings, extending down wing edge. Females also have two spots on forewings. This species is also known to migrate to the British Isles from the continent, augmenting the resident population
 
Painted Lady Butterfly
This lovely butterfly arrives in the UK all the way from Africa each year. They come to escape the intense summer heat. It has a pale orange background colour on the upper wings, the hind wings having rows of black spots, the forewings with black tips market with white spots.       
     
Small White Butterfly
It is relatively scarce in northern Scotland but has been seen as far north as Orkney and Shetland. This species is also known to migrate to the British Isles from the continent which adds to the population seen here
 
Red Admiral
Red Admiral butterflies are frequent visitors throughout the British Isles This butterfly is unmistakable, with velvety black wings intersected by striking red bands. The species seen here are mainly visitors from Europe, strikingly pretty butterflies
     
Green Veined White Butterfly
Green veined butterfly - common in Scotland and through the UK. These butterflies are plentiful in The Western Isles. & particularly on the females the green veins make them a beautiful sight.
 
Peacock Butterfly
The peacock butterfly used to be a really scarce visitor to the Outer Hebrides although there have been a quite a few sightings in recent years. It is unmistakable, with spectacular "eyes" on the upper side of the hind wings.
     
Clouded Yellow Butterfly
This butterfly really is a rare sight in the Outer Hebrides - a rare migrant from Southern Europe, it is greenish yellow with two silver-white spots. Upperwings are deep orange-yellow with broad dark wing margins.
 
Dark Green Fritillary Butterfly
This butterfly gets its name from the green hue found on the underside of the hind wings. The hind wings are also peppered with large silver spots. This butterfly is the only fritillary that is seen in the Outer Hebrides
     
Common Grayling Butterfly
Only seen in the south of the Outer Hebrides. Recent sightings at Fuday, Eriskay and Glendale, South Uist. The underwings of this butterfly are mottled brown - and it appears larger when in flight than it actually is, when pale yellow-orange bands can be seen.
 
Small Heath Butterfly
Despite the name the small heath butterfly is not just confined to heaths. This butterfly has only been seen in south Uist.It is the smallest of the "brown butterflies"This butterfly always settles with its wings closed - the eye spot being well visible on the underside of forewing acting ass a decoy to any predator
     
Large Heath Butterfly
This butterfly is often to be sedem around The Isle of Lewis as well as South Uist. There is a sub species seen on the islands scotica which is a little more dull than the subspecies seen in England
 

Speckled Wood Butterfly

 

 


This butterfly can be seen around the Castle Grounds in Stornoway. This species appearance changes the further North it is seen, with the butterfly seen here being dark brown with white spots, there are subspecies also

     
Ringlet Butterfly
This butterfly can easily be identified when resting, the rings on the hind wings giving it away. The upper sides of its wings are a chocolate brown in colour. This butterfly has only been sighted in South Uist.

Common Blue Butterfly - Polyommatus icarus
This small butterfly although commonly seem throughout Scotland and The Western Isles is still very pretty, The male has blue wings with black-brown border and thin white fringe.

The female is brown. and can have varying amounts of brown on the wings with red spots on the wings On sunny days you can sometimes find these butterflies feeding together in small colonies.

Common blue caterpillars hibernate and pupate in April and May - adults being around in May and June

Painted Lady Butterfly - Vanessa cardui - (Cynthia cardui)
One of Scotland's most familiar butterflies - common in The Western Isles. This lovely butterfly arrives in the UK all the way from Africa each year.

They come to escape the intense summer heat. It has a pale orange background colour on the upper wings, the hind wings having rows of black spots, the forewings with black tips market with white spots. The undersides are pale with blue eyespots.

The males and the females are very similar to look at.
The Green Veined White Butterfly - Pieris napi
One of the most common butterflies to be seen in the UK, Scotland and seen frequently here in the Western Isles. These lovely butterflies are plentiful in The Western Isles. and particularly on the females the green veins make them a beautiful sight.

The green veined white butterflies like damp grassland and as there is lots of damp grassy moorland here in The Isle of Lewis, perhaps that explains why we see so many of these delightful butterflies in The Hebrides. In both sexes, the upper surfaces of the wings are yellowish white and the forewings have blackish tips
Painted Lady Butterfly
Meadow Brown Butterfly - Maniola jurtina
One of Scotland's most familiar butterflies. Meadow browns are common almost everywhere in Scotland and throughout the UK.

They can be seen in fields, roadsides and woodland margins. These lovely butterflies are plentiful in The Western Isles. These lovely butterflies are however absent in The Shetlands.

Meadow brown butterflies are a dull brown colour with bright orange-brown patches on their fore- and hind wings and a distinctive dark eyespot on their forewings.
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly - Aglais urticae
One of Scotland's & Britain's most familiar butterflies - but in recent years this butterfly has shown declines.

The declines are fluctual and in some years they really are quite scarce, whilst in other years these butterflies are really quite common and abundant.



These cycles are believed to be linked to spring and early summer temperatures, which affect both the butterfly, and its larval parasitoids.

Garden Tiger Moth
The garden tiger moth's forewings are a chocolate brown with cream patterns and its hindwings are an orange red occasionally yellow with black spots which have deep-blue centres.

This moth is commonly found in The Western Isles - Scotland although it is decreasing in some parts of the UK.

Tiger Moth
This moth flies mainly at night but is often found during the day, so it can be mistaken for a butterfly. The garden tiger moth gets its name from the tiger-like stripes on their forewings.
Tiger Moth info & Pictures
Hebrew Character Moth
Hebrew Character Moth
The Hebrew Character moth is named so due to the dark mark near the centre of the forewing. This moth is commonly found in The Western Isles - Scotland and The UK.

The hebrew character moth is so called because it bears a black mark shaped like the Hebrew letter Nun near the centre of the forewing. It has a wing span of 30 - 35mm


The Hebrew Character Moth has a wingspan of up to 30 - 35mm.
The first caterpillars can be seen in March
Magpie Moth
The Magpie moth is really pretty with its variable black markings on the white wings and the lovely bright yellow orange spotty stripe it can easily be mistaken for a butterfly.

The magpie moth is seen regularly now in The Western Isles - on The Isle of Lewis, Harris and the Uists

This pretty medium sized moth with a wingspan of 35 - 42mm, can be seen, particularly in the early morning on the heathers of The Western Isles moorlands.
magpie moth Western Isles
map winged swift moth

Map Winged Swift Moth


The Map Winged Swift Moth is less common than the common swift moth has a wing span of between 30 and 35mm, the larvae live underground and feed on roots of bracken.

The map winged swift moth is seen as a moorland species, although it can also be seen in other habitats, including the machair on the Western Isles.

The Map-winged Swift moth gets its common name from the the "map like" markings in a variegated pattern on the forewing in many shades of black, brown and white.

Map Winged Swift Moth Information and Pictures


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