Name: Brimstone

Scientific name: Gonepteryx rhamni

Category: Minibeasts

Nature Stars: 40

What are nature stars?

About: A fairly large pale yellow butterfly, with a wingspan of about 7cm. Adults hibernate, and may be seen flying on warm days throughout the year, although they are most common in the spring. Usually seen in ones or twos, never very common although widespread. They can be found in damp woodlands, along sunny woodland rides, mature hedgerows and in large gardens. The foodplants are Buckthorn and Alder Buckthorn, two shrubs of wet woodland.

How to identify: A large, pale yellow butterfly with a greyish body and single orangey spots in the middle of each wing. The wings have a characteristic shape, with pointed wing tips.

Where: Across most of England and Wales.

Natural Superpowers

  • Predator: 10
  • Agility: 70
  • Rarity: 40
  • Cute factor: 40
  • Traveller: 50

Fantastic fact: The Brimstone is the original 'butter fly', named for the colour of its wings

Photograph credit: Keith Warmington/

More in this category: Oil beetle » « Small Skipper


  • Puffin_ux
    • Date: 2019-04-17 13:40:01
    • Puffin_ux

    i haven't seen on this year but i like them because they are really colourful and brighten up the garden i mainly see them in the air .

  • Ottero
    • Date: 2011-04-23 23:00:47
    • Ottero

    I love Brimstone butterflies but I don't get a lot where I live.

  • Dolphilor
    • Date: 2010-07-31 10:47:33
    • Dolphilor

    They are common round here.