Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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In Highland and Moray there are 29 resident butterfly species and 4 regularly occurring migrants.

Some, which are in decline nationally, may still be found in Highland and Moray, for example the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Dingy Skipper and Small Blue.

The Chequered Skipper, now extinct in England, occurs in a number of colonies in Western Inverness-shire. Anyone wishing to see this butterfly should visit Butterfly Conservation's Allt Mhuic reserve during the flight period, which usually begins in the second week of May and continues to the end of June. To find out more about Allt Mhuic and how to get there, please check out Butterfly Conservation's reserves web pages.

Other species, such as the Peacock, Orange Tip, Speckled Wood and Ringlet are expanding their northerly ranges.  Another more recent colonist is the Comma which, after slowly expanding northwards along the Spey, has been seen in Spey Bay on the Moray coast.

The extreme western and northern parts of the Highlands, the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland share an oceanic climate and are, on average, the windiest in the UK, being fully exposed to the Atlantic and closest to the passage of areas of low pressure. Inevitably fewer butterfly species are resident there.

Interestingly, 2 new species have been added to the Western Isles list, namely the Speckled Wood which colonised the wooded Castle Grounds at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, around 2004, and the Ringlet which was first recorded at South Glendale, South Uist in 2008, and has been seen at the same site in subsequent years.

Butterfly Species list


Scottish Macro-moth List 2017

This list aims to include every species of macro-moth reliably recorded in Scotland, with an assessment of its Scottish status, as guidance for observers contributing to the National Moth Recording Scheme (NMRS). It updates and amends the previous lists of 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Please click here for the full introductory text. (PDF file 189 KB)

Scottish Macro-moth List 2017 (MS Excel file, 51 KB)

Provisional Highland Macro-moth List

The table below contains a provisional list of macro-moths found in Highland, arranged according to the families to which they belong. Species which have been given priority status under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) are indicated accordingly.

As the list contains over 400 species, you may find it more convenient to click on the family names rather than scroll down the page:

Hepialidae | Cossidae | Zygaenidae | Sesiidae | Lasiocampidae | Saturniidae | Endromidae | Drepanidae | Thyatiridae | Geometridae | Sphingidae | Notodontidae | Lymantriidae | Arctiidae | Nolidae | Noctuidae

Alternatively, you can access a separate page containing an A to Z list of common names.

Species Name Scientific Name UK BAP Status


Ghost Moth

Hepialus humuli


Orange Swift

Hepialus sylvina


Gold Swift

Hepialus hecta


Common Swift

Hepialus lupulinus


Map-winged Swift

Hepialus fusconebulosa



Goat Moth

Cossus cossus



New Forest Burnet

Zygaena viciae argyllensis


Six-spot Burnet

Zygaena filipendulae


Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet

Zygaena lonicerae


Transparent Burnet

Zygaena purpuralis



Lunar Hornet Moth

Sesia bembeciformis


Currant Clearwing

Synanthedon salmachus


Welsh Clearwing

Synanthedon scoliaeformis


Large Red-belted Clearwing

Synanthedon culiciformis


Thrift Clearwing

Synansphecia muscaeformis



December Moth

Poecilocampa populi


Pale Eggar

Trichiura crataegi


Northern Eggar

Lasiocampa quercus f. callunae


Fox Moth

Macrothylacia rubi



Euthrix potatoria



Emperor Moth

Saturnia pavonia



Kentish Glory

Endromis versicolora



Scalloped Hook-tip

Falcaria lacertinaria


Pebble Hook-tip

Drepana falcataria


Chinese Character

Cilix glaucata



Peach Blossom

Thyatira batis


Poplar Lutestring

Tethea or


Satin Lutestring

Tetheella fluctuosa


Common Lutestring

Ocropacha duplaris


Yellow Horned

Achyla flavicornis


Orange Underwing

Archiearis parthenias


March Moth

Alsophila aescularia


Grass Emerald

Pseudoterpna pruinata


Large Emerald

Geometra papilionara


Birch Mocha

Cyclophora albipunctata


Cream Wave

Scopula floslactata


Smoky Wave

Scopula ternata


Small Fan-footed Wave

Idaea biselata


Small Dusty Wave

Idaea seriata


Riband Wave

Idaea aversata


Plain Wave

Idaea straminata



Rhodometra sacraria


Flame Carpet

Xanthorhoe designata


Red Carpet

Xanthorhoe decoloraria


Red Twin-spot Carpet

Xanthorhoe spadicearia


Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet

Xanthorhoe ferrugata


Silver-ground Carpet

Xanthorhoe montanata


Garden Carpet

Xanthorhoe fluctuata


Shaded Broad-bar

Scotopteryx chenopodiata


Lead Belle

Scotopteryx mucronata


July Belle

Scotopteryx luridata


Small Argent & Sable

Epirrhoe tristata


Common Carpet

Epirrhoe alternata


Yellow Shell

Camptogramma bilineata bilineata


Yellow-ringed Carpet

Entephria flavicinctata


Grey Mountain Moth

Entephria caesiata


Shoulder Stripe

Anticlea badiata



Anticlea derivata


Beautiful Carpet

Mesoleuca albicillata


Dark Spinach

Pelurga comitata


Water Carpet

Lampropteryx suffumata


Purple Bar

Cosmorhoe ocellata


Striped Twin-spot Carpet

Nebula salicata



Eulithis prunata



Eulithis testata


Northern Spinach

Eulithis populata



Eulithis mellinata


Barred Straw

Eulithis pyraliata


Small Pheonix

Ecliptopera silaceata


Red-green Carpet

Chloroclysta siterata


Autumn Green Carpet

Chloroclysta miata


Dark Marbled Carpet

Chloroclysta citrata


Common Marbled Carpet

Chloroclysta truncata


Barred Yellow

Cidarai fulvata


Blue-bordered Carpet

Plemyria rubiginata


Pine Carpet

Thera firmata


Grey Pine Carpet

Thera obeliscata


Spruce Carpet

Thera britannica


Chestnut-coloured Carpet

Thera cognata


Juniper Carpet

Thera juniperata


Broken-barred Carpet

Electrophaes corylata


Beech-green Carpet

Colostygia olivata


Mottled Grey

Colostygia multistrigaria


Green Carpet

Colostygia pectinataria


July Highflyer

Hydriomena furcata


May Highflyer

Hydriomena impluviata


Ruddy Highflyer

Hydriomena ruberata


Slender-striped Rufous

Coenocalpe lapidata


Argent & Sable

Rheumaptera hastata


November Moth

Epirrata dilutata


Pale November Moth

Epirrata christyi


Autumnal Moth

Epirrata autumnata


Small Autumnal Moth

Epirrata filigrammaria


Winter Moth

Operophtera brumata


Northern Winter Moth

Operophtera fagata


Barred Carpet

Perizoma taeniata



Perizoma affinitata


Small Rivulet

Perizoma alchemillata


Heath Rivulet

Perizoma bifaciata


Pretty Pinion

Perizoma blandiata


Grass Rivulet

Perizoma albulata


Sandy Carpet

Perizoma flavofasciata


Twin-spot Carpet

Perizoma didymata didymata


Slender Pug

Eupithecia tenuita


Toadflax Pug

Eupithecia linariata


Foxglove Pug

Eupithecia pulchellata


Valerian Pug

Eupithecia valerianata


Marsh Pug

Eupithecia pygmaeata


Lime-speck Pug

Eupithecia centaureata


Freyer's Pug

Eupithecia intricata


Satyr Pug

Eupithecia satyrata


Wormwood Pug

Eupithecia absinthiata


Currant Pug

Eupithecia assimilata


Bleached Pug

Eupithecia expallidata


Common Pug

Eupithecia vulgata


White-spotted Pug

Eupithecia tripunctaria


Grey Pug

Eupithecia subfuscata


Tawny Speckled Pug

Eupithecia icterata


Thyme Pug

Eupithecia distinctaria


Narrow-winged Pug

Eupithecia nanata


Ash Pug

Eupithecia fraxinata


Brindled Pug

Eupithecia abbreviata


Juniper Pug

Eupithecia pusillata


Larch Pug

Eupithecia lariciata


Dwarf Pug

Eupithecia tantillaria



Chloroclystis v-ata


Green Pug

Pasiphila rectangulata


Double-striped Pug

Gymnoscelis rufifasciata



Chesias legatella



Chesias rufata


Manchester Treble-bar

Carsia sororata



Aplocera plagiata


Chimney Sweeper

Odezia atrata


Welsh Wave

Venusia cambrica


Small White Wave

Asthena albulata



Lobophora halterata


Barred Tooth-striped

Trichopteryx polycommata


Early Tooth-striped

Trichopteryx carpinata


Magpie Moth

Abraxas grossulariata


Clouded Border

Lomaspilis marginata


Peacock Moth

Macaria notata


Tawny-barred Angle

Macaria liturata


Netted Mountain Moth

Macaria carbonaria


Rannoch Looper

Itame brunneata



Macaria wauaria


Brown Silver-line

Petrophora cholrosata


Barred Umber

Plagodis pulveraria


Brimstone Moth

Opisthograptis luteolata


Bordered Beauty

Epione repandaria


Dark Bordered Beauty

Epione vespertaria


Speckled Yellow

Pseudopanthera macularia


August Thorn

Ennomos quercinaria


Canary-shouldered Thorn

Ennomos alniaria


September Thorn

Ennomos erosaria


Early Thorn

Selenia dentaria


Lunar Thorn

Selenia dentaria


Purple Thorn

Selenia tetralunaria


Scalloped Hazel

Odontopera bidentata


Scalloped Oak

Crocallis elinguaria


Feathered Thorn

Colotois pennaria


Pale Brindled Beauty

Phigalia pilosaria


Brindled Beauty

Lycia hirtaria


Belted Beauty

Lycia zonaria


Rannoch Brindled Beauty

Lycia lapponaria


Peppered Moth

Biston betularia


Spring Usher

Agriopis leucohaearia


Scarce Umber

Agriopis aurantiaria


Dotted Border

Agriopis marginaria


Mottled Umber

Erannis defolaria


Willow Beauty

Peribatodes rhomboidaria


Ringed Carpet

Cleora cinctaria


Satin Beauty

Deileptenia ribeata


Mottled Beauty

Alcis repandata


Dotted Carpet

Alcis jubata


Brussels Lace

Cleorodes lichenaria



Ectropis bistortata


Grey Birch

Aethalura punctulata


Common Heath

Ematurga atomaria


Bordered White

Bupalis piniaria


Common White Wave

Cabera pusaria


Common Wave

Cabera exanthemata


Clouded Silver

Lomographa temerata


Light Emerald

Campaea margaritata


Barred Red

Hylaea fasciaria


Scottish Annulet

Gnophos obfuscata



Charissa obscurata


Black Mountain Moth

Glacies coracina


Grey Scalloped Bar

Dyscia fagaria



Convolvulus Hawkmoth

Agrius convolvuli


Death's-head Hawkmoth

Acherontia atropos


Poplar Hawkmoth

Laothoe populi


Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth

Haemaris tityus


Humming-bird Hawkmoth

Macroglossum stellatarum


Elephant Hawkmoth

Deilephila elpenor


Small Elephant Hawkmoth

Deilephila porcellus




Phalera bucephala


Puss Moth

Cerura vinula


Sallow Kitten

Furcula furcula


Iron Prominent

Notodonta dromedarius


Pebble Prominent

Notodonta ziczac


Lesser Swallow Prominent

Pheosia gnoma


Swallow Prominent

Pheosia tremula


Coxcomb Prominent

Ptilodon capucina


Scarce Prominent

Odontosia carmelita


Pale Prominent

Pterostoma palpina


Marbled Brown

Drymonia dodonaea


Lunar Marbled Brown

Drymonia ruficornis



Clostera curtula




Orgyia antiqua


Dark Tussock

Dicallomera fascelina



Round-winged Muslin

Thumatha senex


Dew Moth

Setina irrorella


Common Footman

Eilema lurideola


Wood Tiger

Parasemia plantaginis


Garden Tiger

Arctia caja


Clouded Buff

Diacrisia sannio


White Ermine

Spilosoma lubricipeda


Muslin Moth

Diaphora mendica


Ruby Tiger

Phragmatobia fuliginosa



Least Black Arches

Nola confusalis



White-line Dart

Euxoa tritici


Garden Dart

Euxoa nigricans


Coast Dart

Euxoa cursoria


Archer's Dart

Agrotis vestigialis


Turnip Moth

Agrotis segetum


Heart and Club

Agrotis clavis


Heart and Dart

Agrotis exclamationis


Dark Sword-grass

Agrotis ipsilon


Portland Moth

Actebia praecox


Flame Shoulder

Ochropleura plecta


Plain Clay

Eugnorisma depuncta


Northern Rustic

Standfussiana lucernea


Large Yellow Underwing

Noctua pronuba


Lunar Yellow Underwing

Noctua orbona


Lesser Yellow Underwing

Noctua comes


Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Noctua fimbriata


Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Noctua janthe


Double Dart

Graphiphora augur


Cousin German

Protolampra sobrina


Autumnal Rustic

Eugnorisma glareosa


True Lover's Knot

Lycophotia porphyrea


Pearly Underwing

Peridroma saucia


Ingrailed Clay

Diarsia mendica mendica


Barred Chestnut

Diarsia dahlii


Purple Clay

Diarsia brunnea


Small Square-spot

Diarsia rubi


Northern Dart

Xestia alpicola alpina


Setaceous Hebrew Character

Xestia c-nigrum


Triple-spotted Clay

Xestia ditrapezium


Double Square-spot

Xestia triangulum


Dotted Clay

Xestia baja


Square-spotted Clay

Xestia rhomboidea


Neglected Rustic

Xestia castanea


Six-striped Rustic

Xestia sexstrigata


Square-spot Rustic

Xestia xanthographa


Heath Rustic

Xestia agathina



Naenia typica


Great Brocade

Eurois occulta


Green Arches

Anaplectoides prasina


Red Chestnut

Cerastis rubricosa


Beautiful Yellow Underwing

Anarta myrtilli


Small Dark Yellow Underwing

Anarta cordigera


Broad-bordered White Underwing

Anarta melanopa



Hada nana


Silvery Arches

Polia trimaculosa


Cabbage Moth

Mamestra brassicae


Beautiful Brocade

Lacanobia contigua


Pale-shouldered Brocade

Lacanobia thalassina


Dog's Tooth

Lacanobia suasa


Bright-line Brown-eye

Lacanobia oleracea


Glaucous Shears

Papestra biren


Broom Moth

Melanchra pisi


Broad-barred White

Hecatera bicolorata



Hadena rivularis


Marbled Coronet

Hadena confusa



Hadena bicruris


Antler Moth

Cerapteryx graminis


Pine Beauty

Panolis flammea


Small Quaker

Orthosia cruda


Lead-coloured Drab

Orthosia populeti


Powdered Quaker

Orthosia gracilis


Common Quaker

Orthosia cerasi


Clouded Drab

Orthosia incerta


Hebrew Character

Orthosia gothica


Brown-line Bright-eye

Mythimna conigera



Mythimna ferrago


Smoky Wainscot

Mythimna impura


Common Wainscot

Mythimna pallens


Shoulder-striped Wainscot

Mythimna comma



Cucullia umbratica


Minor Shoulder-knot

Brachylomia viminalis


Rannoch Sprawler

Brachionycha nubeculosa


Brindled Ochre

Dasypolia templi


Northern Deep-brown Dart

Aporophyla lueneburgensis


Black Rustic

Aporophyla nigra


Golden-rod Brindle

Lithomoia solidaginis


Red Sword-grass

Xylena vetusta



Xylena exsoleta


Early Grey

Xylocampa areola


Green-brindled Crescent

Allophyes oxycanthae


Merveille du Jour

Dichonia aprilina


Brindled Green

Dryobotodes eremita


Dark Brocade

Blepharita adusta


Grey Chi

Antitype chi



Eupsilia transversa



Conistra vaccinii



Agrochola circellaris


Red-line Quaker

Agrochola lota


Yellow-line Quaker

Agrochola macilenta


Flounced Chestnut

Agrochola helvola


Brown-spot Pinion

Agrochola litura



Parastichtis suspecta


Centre-barred Sallow

Atethmia centrago


Lunar Underwing

Omphaloscelis lunosa


Orange Sallow

Xanthia citrago


Pink-barred Sallow

Xanthia togata



Xanthia icteritia


Poplar Grey

Acronicta megacephala



Acronicta leporina


Grey Dagger

Acronicta psi


Light Knot Grass

Acronicta menyanthidis


Sweet Gale Moth

Acronicta euphorbiae


Knot Grass

Acronicta rumicis



Craniophora ligustri


Mouse Moth

Amphipyra tragopoginis


Old Lady

Mormo maura


Brown Rustic

Rusina ferruginea


Small Angle Shades

Euplexia lucipara


Angle Shades

Phlogophora meticulosa


Angle-striped Sallow

Enargia paleacea



Cosmia trapezina



Hyppa rectilinea


Dark Arches

Apamea monoglypha


Light Arches

Apamea lithoxylaea


Northern Arches

Apamea zeta assimilis


Clouded-bordered Brindle

Apamea crenata



Apamea furva


Dusky Brocade

Apamea remissa


Rustic Shoulder-knot

Apamea sordens


Marbled Minor

Oligia strigilis


Rufous Minor

Oligia versicolor


Tawny Marbled Minor

Oligia latruncula


Middle-barred Minor

Oligia fasciuncula


Cloaked Minor

Mesoligia furuncula


Rosy Minor

Mesoligia literosa


Common Rustic

Mesapamea secalis


Lesser Common Rustic

Mesapamea didyma


Small Dotted Bluff

Photedes minima


Lyme Grass

Chortodes elymi


Small Wainscot

Chortodes pygmina


Flounced Rustic

Luperina testacea


Large Ear

Amphipoea lucens


Saltern Ear

Amphipoea fucosa


Crinan Ear

Amphipoea crinanensis


Ear Moth

Amphipoea oculea


Rosy Rustic

Hydraecia micacea


Frosted Orange

Gortyna flavago


Haworth's Minor

Celaena haworthii



Celaena leucostigma


Bulrush Wainscot

Nonagria typhae


Large Wainscot

Rhizedra lutosa



Hoplodrina alsines



Hoplodrina blanda


Pale Mottled Willow

Paradrina clavipalpis



Stilbia anomala


Bordered Sallow

Pyrrhia umbra


Scarce Bordered Straw

Helicoverpa armigera


Bordered Straw

Heliothis peltigera


Silver Hook

Deltote uncula


Green Silver-lines

Pseudoips prasinana


Oak Nycteoline

Nycteola revayana


Nut-tree Tussock

Colocasia coryli


Burnished Brass

Diachrysia chrysitis


Gold Spot

Plusia festucae


Lempke's Gold Spot

Plusia putnami


Silver Y

Autographa gamma


Beautiful Golden Y

Autographa pulchrina


Plain Golden Y

Autographa jota


Gold Spangle

Autographa bractea


Scarce Silver Y

Syngrapha interrogationis



Abrostola tripartita


Clifden Nonpareil

Catocala fraxini


Mother Shipton

Callistege mi



Scoliopteryx libatrix


Small Purple-barred

Phytometra viridaria


Straw Dot

Rivula sericealis



Hypena proboscidalis


Pinion-streaked Snout

Schrankia costaestrigalis


Marsh Oblique-barred

Hypenodes humidalis



Zanclognatha tarsipennalis


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Easter Ross Moth Checklist

A brief account of the 364 larger moth species recorded in Easter Ross up to the present time, by Barbara and Brian Ballinger.

Published September 2010.

Download checklist (PDF file, 230kb).

Butterflies and moths in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland - further information

Butterfly and Moth Recording in the Outer Hebrides, by Steve Duffield, Moth and Butterfly Recorder for the Outer Hebrides (VC110) (PDF File)

Western Isles Wildlife (Insects page) http://www.western-isles-wildlife.co.uk/insects_outer_hebrides.html

Orkney Biodiversity Records Centre www.orkneylibrary.org.uk/obrc/home.html

Shetland Entomological Group www.nature-shetland.co.uk/entomology/lepidoptera.htm

Shetland Lepidoptera List www.nature-shetland.co.uk/entomology/leplist.pdf

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