Operation Orange-tip: 2021

Orange-tip butterfly

The Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) is a common and beautiful butterfly, typically emerging late March or early April. The males, with their bright orange colouration, wander widely and, to many of us, herald the start of spring.

My recently updated digital atlas of the county's butterflies has revealed the patchy distribution of this species in Montgomeryshire. This Spring, I need your help to better understand where this charismatic butterfly occurs in the county and to help fill in holes in its distribution map (below). All records are helpful but finding the butterfly in new areas (or places where it has not been seen for many years) would be particularly exciting. If you are able to explore new areas, remember to stick to public footpaths or gain the landowner's permission. Even if you don't manage to spot an Orange-tip, details of any other butterflies you may see will be extremely helpful, as the true distributions of most of our county's butterflies are also poorly known.

I've set up an iRecord Activity for 'Operation Orange-tip' and you can submit your sightings directly using this link. You can view other records that have been submitted for the project, allowing you to track the progress of the 2021 sightings in real-time. Alternatively, please send your sightings directly to the county recorder by email (see Contact page if you don't have my email), and these records will be manually added to the project (please remember to include a date, OS grid reference, and a site name that can be found on a map, e.g. nearest village, for any sightings). It will be fascinating to see how many squares we can record the species in during 2021, as well as hopefully find this butterfy in some new places.

Records submitted through Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust/Biodiversity Information Service's casual recording form, Butterfly Conservation's smartphone app or the Garden Butterfly Survey are also welcomed, though these will not be added to the iRecord Activity in real-time.

A high resolution and zoomable distribution map for Orange-tip can be downloaded here:

Distribution maps for all the butterfly species found in Montgomeryshire and general information about butterfly recording can be found in the following document:
Butterflies of Montgomeryshire: a digital atlas. 5th edition. (2021).
PDF (16MB) Distribution map for Orange-tip