Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus

Habitat

The Small Heath is one of our commonest grassland butterflies but it has declined slightly in recent decades due to intensive agriculture. It favours dry, well-drained grassland, particularly heath, downland and coastal dunes

Identification

The upperwings are pale golden beige, but these are difficult to observe as it always rests with its wings closed. The underside of the upper wing is orange with an eye-spot and a buff-coloured tip, and there is a central pale flash on the underside of the hindwing, which points towards the margin.

Flight times

The Small Heath is usually double-brooded except in the northern part of its range, and flies between late April and early September in the south.

Food plants

Eggs are laid singly on blades of fescues, bents and meadow-grasses.

Small Heath
Small Heath - © Simon Jenkins

Distribution Maps

2005-2009
Small Heath distribution map 2005-09
2010-14
Small Heath distribution map 2010-14
2015
Small Heath distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 255
First sighting 09/05/2015
Last sighting 01/10/2015
2016
Small Heath distribution map 2016
2016 Summary
No of tetrads 212
First sighting 25/03/2016
Last sighting 27/09/2016
2017
Small Heath distribution map 2017
2017 Summary
No of tetrads 195
First sighting 08/04/2017
Last sighting 29/09/2017

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