Butterflies & moths to look for in February — Brimstone Butterfly

Brimstone Butterfly
Photo credit: Paul Green

Where to look

To see one, look in scrubby grassland, woodland, gardens, wasteground and they can often even be seen flying along roadside verges.


The Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) gets its name from the old word for the element, sulphur, which is also yellow. It’s even thought that their colour put the word butter into butterflies! Males are a bright yellow, while females are a paler greeny yellow. 
They are one of the first butterflies to be seen in the year because they spend the winter as adults hibernating in ivy, holly and bramble and so are ready to come out on warm spring days. It one of the world’s longest-lived species of butterfly.

Where we've found Brimstone Butterflies

Brimstone Butterfly spottings journal (7 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
19 Apr 2021 Stroud Valleys Project
14 Jun 2020 Brenney Common Gav Blended A glowing Brimstone butterfly on Brenney Common, Cornwall.
20 May 2020 Dudbridge Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project Female brimstone 😊
15 Apr 2020 In our garden Carolyn Buckley-Nolans
10 Apr 2020 Stroud Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project I couldn't catch a brimstone with my camera so this is a mosaic of one I made last year!
7 Apr 2020 Capel's Mill Jo The Weaver's
24 Mar 2020 Lower Amble Gavin Blended Spotted in Lower Amble, Cornwall.


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