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Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation- Glasgow & South West Scotland Branch

Glasgow and SW Scotland Branch of Butterfly Conservation

Conserving and Recording the butterflies & moths of SW Scotland

Northern Brown Argus, Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, Chequered Skipper, Orange Tip, Green Hairstreak, Small Tortoiseshell, Dark Green Fritillary, Small Heath, Common Blue, Pearl-Bordered Fritillary. Photos © Scott Shanks

The Glasgow & SW Scotland branch area now has 35 species of butterfly after the recent arrival from England of the Small & Essex Skippers and the reintroduction of the Small Blue. See butterfly species for web pages about each of these species. There is currently no definitive list of moths for the branch area but being the most southerly of the three Scotland branches, the Glasgow & SW Scotland branch very likely has the greatest number of species.

The branch area includes Dumfries & Galloway, Ayrshire, Greater Glasgow, Stirlingshire, Argyll, the Argyll islands, Dunbartonshire & Loch Lomond. This includes Scotland's first National Park: Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. These regions include a diverse range of landscapes providing a range of habitats from the fertile central lowlands and coastal parts of Ayrshire/Dumfries & Galloway to the moorland of more inland areas of these counties and to the rugged mountain scenery of the southern highlands and Argyll and to the unique scenery and habitats of the Argyll islands.

This diversity of habitats in the branch area is reflected in the distribution of some butterflies and moths. For example, the Mountain Ringlet is only found at altitudes above 300m in the southern Highlands, the Scotch Argus is not found in lowland areas of the branch area except in Argyll where it is found down to sea level. There are some spectacular moths of moorland in the branch area including the Emperor Moth, the Northern Eggar & Great Brocade.

The key butterfly species in the branch area are the Chequered Skipper & Marsh Fritillary in parts of Argyll, the Large Heath which lives in lowland and blanket bogs in various parts of SW Scotland, the Pearl-bordered Fritillary which has an important stronghold in Argyll and the Mountain Ringlet in the southern highlands.

The key moth species are the burnet moths of Argyll and the Argyll islands - Slender Scotch Burnet; New Forest Burnet & Transparent Burnet - and other western species including the Barred Tooth-Stripe, Square Spotted Clay, Argent & Sable & Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk Moth.


  • June 2016: G&SWS Branch Photographic Competition 2016 - see rules

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