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UK Nature  > Butterflies  > Gonepteryx rhamni

Scientific Name:   Gonepteryx rhamni
Common Name:   Brimstone

Gonepteryx rhamni, more commonly known as the Brimstone, is a bright yellow butterfly, often the first butterfly to be seen in spring. Male brimstone butterflies have sulphur-yellow forewings and hindwings with an orange central spot. The female's fore- and hindwings are a delicate yellow or pale green with an orange central spot. Both butterflies have greenish veined underwings.

The pupa looks like a curled leaf, the new adults emerging from their chrysalids in July and living until the following July. Adults hibernate over winter in woodlands and emerge on warm spring days. Last year's brimstones are often the first butterflies to be seen in spring.

They are most likely to be found in woodland, gardens or meadows, sipping nectar from teasel, knapweed and buddleia. Brimstones are common in most of the UK, and have been spreading in recent years, particularly in northern England.
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