About this site

The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland website currently covers 497 species of butterflies and moths.

To enable easy navigation within the site we have used a menu frame down the left-hand side.

By selecting 'Families' from the menu frame, pages containing a brief account of each family of butterfly and macro-moth that occurs in Northern Ireland can be viewed. For each account there is also a thumbnail photograph of a representative species. A species list for each family is generated in the left-hand frame by clicking on the family name. Thumbnails of all the species included in each family can be viewed by clicking on the representative photographs. Both the thumbnails and species names are then hyperlinked to the species pages.

By selecting 'Species list' from the menu frame a taxonomic index of commmon or latin names can be viewed. Initially only the Butterflies are listed. Make your choice of family from the drop-down box and press Go, or click on 'Show full list' to see other species names. The species list can also be sorted alphabetically. On the main menu there is also a 'Find a species' option. Select this option then enter a name or string of three or more letters in either the latin name or common name entry box. Then click on the 'submit' button.

Under the heading 'Thumbnails' in the menu frame thumbnails of the species by family can be viewed. Choose a family from the drop down menu. The thumbnails and species names are linked to the appropriate species pages by the text and to the enlarged image by clicking on the image. A series of windows can be opened in most browsers by right clicking and choosing 'open in new window'. These windows can then be used to compare species side by side.

The pages have a common structure. There is a brief description of the animal including wingspan, general characteristics and differences between males and females. Similar species and key identification features are mentioned under separate headings. This is accompanied by a photograph of the living adult showing normal resting position on the right hand side of the page. This swaps with a Northern Ireland distribution map when the mouse pointer is moved over the hyperlink buttons beneath the image. There is also a next species button that enables browsing of the species in taxonomic order.

By clicking on the photograph or button you can view these pictures and the maps at a larger size within the Gallery. If the pictures seem too large please note that the site is designed to be viewed on a 17 inch monitor at XGA (1024x768 pixels) or higher resolution and true colour. Within the gallery click on the small picture at the right-hand side to bring up the next image.

On the main page there are also thumbnails of set specimens which when clicked go to an enlarged image, the other sets can also be viewed from this gallery. This is followed by brief accounts under the headings: flight period, status and ecology. Specific larval foodplants are hyperlinked to the Northern Ireland Flora website. Lastly there is a thumbnail of the caterpillar which when clicked goes to the enlarged image.

As our knowledge of the local Lepidoptera fauna expands, we look forward to regular updates of the text, maps and images for this site.