The taxonomy of the butterflies of the British Isles is defined in Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the British Isles; Agassiz (2013). The UK Butterflies website builds on this checklist and any differences are noted on this page.
Agassiz, Beavan & Heckford (2016) correct certain errors in Agassiz (2013). Those changes relevant to UK Butterflies are:
- p.58 The author of the genus Anthocharis is "Boisduval, Rambur & Graslin, " and not "Boisduval, ".
- p.58 The author of the genus Gonepteryx is "[Leach], " and not "Leach, ".
- p.59 The author of the genus Lasiommata is "Westwood" and not "Humphreys & Westwood".
- p.60 The author of the genus Boloria is "Moore, " and not "Moore, 1900".
- p.62 The author of the genus Aricia is "[Reichenbach], 1817" and not "Reichenbach, 1817".
- p.116 The author of the genus Chazara is "Moore, " and not "Moore, 1983".
- p.126 B39. The author of the Moorland Clouded Yellow is "(Linnaeus, 1761)" and not "(Linnaeus, 1758)".
Further errors have been identified which have been accommondated in UK Butterflies and passed on to the relevent body:
- p.57. 56.003. "machaon" should be shown as the nominate subspecies "machaon machaon" since other subspecies are mentioned.
- p.58. 58.003. "britannica" and "hibernica" should be shown as "cardamines britannica" and "cardamines hibernica" since these are subspecies and not synonyms.
- p.58. 58.013. "gravesi" should be shown as "rhamni gravesi" since it is a subspecies and not a synonym.
- p.60. 59.013. The subspecies "semele angliae" is shown but with no country distribution. The meaning of this entry is unclear.
- p.60. 59.019. The nominate subspecies "aglaja aglaja" is given when there are no other subspecies (only a synonym) given.
There are also some changes to the vernacular names used, as follows, in order to conform more closely with recent literature:
- The name "Apollo" is preferred over "Apollo or Crimson-ringed".
- The name "Monarch" is preferred over "Monarch or Milkweed".
- The name "Mountain Ringlet" is preferred over "Mountain Ringlet or Small Mountain Ringlet".
- The name "Gatekeeper" is preferred over "Gatekeeper or Hedge Brown".
- The name "Map" is preferred over "European Map".
- The name "Short-tailed Blue" is preferred over "Short-tailed Blue or Bloxworth Blue".
- The name "Shy Saliana" has been allocated to Saliana longirostris.
- The name "Lesser Purple Emperor" has been allocated to Apatura ilia.
- The name "Blue Spot Hairstreak" has been allocated to Satyrium spini.
- The name "Ilex Hairstreak" has been allocated to Satyrium ilicis.
The following additions have also been made since they are not specified in Agassiz (2013):
- The genus Danaus is shown within the tribe Danaini.
- The Woodland Grayling (Hipparchia fagi) is shown within the nominate subgenus Hipparchia.
- Weaver's Fritillary (Boloria dia) is shown within the subgenus Clossiana.
- The Great Spangled Fritillary (Argynnis cybele) is shown within the subgenus Speyeria.
- The Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron gordius) also has the nominate subspecies (Lycaena alciphron alciphron) recognised.
- All questionable records (in Appendix B) have been placed in an appropriate taxonomic location, although this position is not specified in the checklist. In the case of the Slate Flash Rapala manea schistacea this also includes the introduction of the nominate subspecies Rapala manea manea when describing the authorities.
- Forms have been added for those species exhibiting sexual dimorphism, namely Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) and Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus).
- Forms have been added for those species exhibiting seasonal dimorphism, namely Comma (Polygonia c-album) and Map (Araschnia levana).
- Forms of Lesser Purple Emperor (Apatura ilia) have been recognised.
The following items, present in the checklist, have been omitted:
- Réal's Wood White is omitted on the basis that this was originally included on the British list in error. It is unclear why this species is retained in Agassiz (2013).
Historic Subspecies and Forms
This link lists the subspecies, forms and unnamed races that have appeared in literature but are not included on UK Butterflies, since they are not included in the latest checklist of Agassiz (2013).