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Butterfly identification European Species List
 Butterfly Identification

The following guides provide help with the identification of butterfly species and are available to download as pdf's.
Many thanks to Bill Raymond for designing the ID guides above, to Matt Rowlings, Roger Gibbons and Vincent Baudraz for the use of their photographs and Richard Lewington for the use of his illustrations.
  • Pyrgus : Éléments d’identification des Pyrgus de France métropolitaine. Pyrgus ID guide in French by Cédric Jacquier, Version1.1. We are hoping to produce a revised version in English at a later stage.
We also offer a Butterfly Identification Service whereby you can send us your photographs of butterflies for identification.

 List of European Butterfly Species


Download : EuropeanButterflies.xls (89kb)

The list of 453 species on the first spreadsheet above comprises species found in Europe up to the eastern boundary of the European Union. It includes Cyprus, the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores. A further 39 species which only occur east of the European Union (in Russia, etc) are listed separately on the second spreadsheet.

The list is up to date as at June 2017. It updates the list previously published in European Butterflies Group newsletter 8 (October 2010) and includes the following new species:

New species



Spialia rosae

Split from S. sertorius (Red-underwing Skipper)


Zerynthia cassandra

Split from Z. polyxena (Southern Festoon)


Iphiclides feisthamelii

Split from I. podalirius (Scarce Swallowtail)

Spain, Portugal, France

Leptidea juvernica

New species within L. sinapis (Wood White) group


Azanus jesous

Seems to be established

S. Spain (Cadiz)

Iolana debilitata

Split from I. iolas (Iolas Blue)


Polyommatus celina

Split from P. icarus (Common Blue)

Spain, Portugal, Italy

Euphydryas beckeri

Split from E. aurinia (Marsh Fritillary)

Spain, Portugal

Melitaea nevadensis

Split from M. athalia (Heath Fritillary). The name nevadensis replaces celadussa

Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy

Pseudochazara amalthea

Split from P. anthelea (White-banded Grayling)

Bosnia, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria

Erebia arvernensis

Split from E. cassioides (Common Brassy Ringlet)

Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland

Erebia neleus

Split from E. cassioides (Common Brassy Ringlet)

Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania

One species is ‘lost’: Polyommatus galloi (Gallo’s Anomalous Blue) is now regarded as part of P. ripartii (Ripart’s Anomalous Blue).

The list has been compiled by a committee of taxonomic experts chaired by Rudi Verovnik, to whom thanks are due. The full committee comprised  Rudi Verovnik, Emilio Balletto, Vlad Dinca, Zdenek Fric, Gerardo Lamas, Vladimir Lukhtanov, Miguel Munguira, Chris van Swaay, Roger Vila, Albert Vliegenthart, Niklas Wahlberg, and Martin Wiemers.

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