Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Species description
© - Nick Greatorex-Davies

The Small Heath is generally considered a common butterfly occurring throughout Britain and Ireland in open short grassland where fine grasses grow. However it has become rather less common than it used to be in many areas in recent decades. (For further details on this species see

Trend summary

Status since 1976 is Rapid decline with a change of -45.0% since monitoring began for this species.
Status over the last 20 years is Stable with a change of 38.2%
Status over the last 10 years is Stable with a change of 74.0%

Log Collated

This chart shows the index of abundance (LCI = Log Collated Index) over time. It shows fluctuations in populations from year to year, and is scaled so that the average index over the whole series is equal to 2 (horizontal line). Further details on the analysis of UKBMS data can be found [here]

This chart shows the average number of butterflies seen on transects between April and October across all sites (fitted values from a Generalised Additive Model). The blue line gives average counts over the full BMS series (1976 to date) and the red line gives the average for the last year.

This map shows symbols for the mean abundance at transect sites, with the colour of the symbol reflecting the level of abundance. Means are over all years. Grey background squares are the occupied cells as shown by the Butterflies for the New Millenium over the previous ten year period.