Box Hill butterflies

Painted lady buttefly on nectar rich food at Box Hill in Surrey

With over 38 different species spotted on Box Hill last year, it's hard to pick a favourite. Here are just a few of ours.

Holly Blue

The Holly Blue is easily identified in early spring, as it emerges well before other blue butterflies. Undersides pale blue with small black spots.


This bright yellow beauty is the first butterfly of spring. It's seen all over Box Hill from March. 

Marbled White

Recognised by its distinctive chequer-board black and white markings, these butterflies sunbathe on tall flowers.

Small Coppers

These butterflies make up for their small size with lots of character and energy. In the sunshine their wings are a brilliant shiny copper colour. 

Purple Emperor

Our biggest butterfly, the males protect territories at the top of the tallest trees. They come down to ground level to feed – sometimes on dog poo.

Adonis Blue

This blue stunner has a fascinating life cycle, its caterpillars are cared for by ants. Although now nationally quite rare, it can be spotted on Box Hill’s chalk downland. 

Painted Lady

This migrant butterfly flies to us from North Africa. Some years they arrive in their hundreds, but other years they don’t come at all. 


This woodland butterfly has distinctive jagged wing edges. It can easily camouflage itself as a dead leaf. 


Easily recognisable by the four large ‘eyes’ on its wings, used to trick predators. Adult peacock butterflies can hibernate over winter.