Butterfly identification

Small brown butterflies

The following butterflies are all small (under 40cm wingspan) and predominantly brown in colour:

From the Lycaenidae family (Blues):

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis). Upperside of wings are brown with orange but no blue. Identified by markings on underside of wings which are very similar to Common Blue (see Common Blue page for details).

female Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus). Upperside of wings are brown with hint of blue.

female Chalkhill Blue (Polyommatus coridon).Upperside of wings are brown with hint of blue. Rare garden visitor.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas). Bright copper-orange colour.

White Letter Hairstreak (Satyrium w-album). The streaked marking on the underside of the wings distinguishes the Hairstreaks. The 'tail' markings differentiate this species from other Hairstreaks.

From the Satyridae family (Browns):

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).

From the Hesperidae family (Skippers):

Note all the Skippers rest with forewings held over the hindwings and consequently look like many Moths.

Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola). Solid colour on the wings.

Note the Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) looks like the Essex but is identified by the underside colour of the antennae: reddish-orange for the Small; black for the Essex.

Large Skipper (Ochlodes venata). Mottled colouring on the wings.


This page last updated April 14, 2004