Predominantly Orange Butterflies

Where required, photos and information have been reproduced with the kind permission of Butterfly Conservation.

In each section, the MALE is shown as the top line photograh(s)...photos of the FEMALE are shown on the second line.


Comma

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Comma - Photograph by Jim Asher       Comma - Photograph by Jim Asher

Widespread in England and Wales, starting to colonise Scotland, and occasionally seen in Ireland. Ragged wing edges distinguish this orange and brown butterfly. Undersides are brown with a white mark shaped like a comma. Seen in gardens and woodlands.

Resident

Range expanding.

The Comma is a fascinating butterfly. The scalloped edges and cryptic colouring of the wings conceal hibernating adults amongst dead leaves, while the larvae, flecked with brown and white markings, bear close resemblance to bird droppings.

The species has a flexible life cycle, which allows it to capitalize on favourable weather conditions. However, the most remarkable feature of the Comma has been its severe decline in the twentieth century and subsequent comeback. It is now widespread in southern Britain and its range is expanding northwards.

Conservation status

European/world range

Most of Europe, including Scandinavia, across Asia to Japan. It is also present in North Africa. European range appears to be shifting northwards.

Foodplants

The most widely used foodplant is Common Nettle (Urtica dioica). Other species used include Hop (Humulus lupulus), elms (Ulmus spp.), currants (Ribes spp.), and willows (Salix spp.).

Habitat

Open woodland and wood edges are the main habitats for both breeding and hibernation. Pre-hibernation individuals range more widely in search of nectar and rotting fruit, and are seen regularly in gardens and many other habitats.


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Dark Green Fritillary

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Dark Green Fritillary - Photograph by Robert Thompson     Dark Green Fritillary - Photograph by Robert Thompson

Widespread across Britain and around the coast of Ireland. A large, powerful, orange and black butterfly. Very similar to the rare High Brown Fritillary, which has an extra row of orange-ringed 'pearls' on the underside of the hindwing.

Resident

Range declining in some areas.

This large and powerful butterfly is one of our most widespread fritillaries and can be seen flying rapidly in a range of open sunny habitats. The males look similar to the High Brown Fritillary, which is far rarer but sometimes flies with them on bracken-covered hillsides. The two can be distinguished from the underwing markings, visible when they are feeding on flowers such as thistles.

Although the Dark Green Fritillary is still locally abundant in some regions, it has declined in many others, notably central and eastern England.

Conservation status

European/world range

Throughout Europe as far north as the Arctic Circle and eastwards across Asia to China and Japan. Range appears stable through much of Europe, but declines reported in at least eleven countries.

Foodplants

Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) is used in many habitats but Hairy Violet (V. hirta) is used on calcareous grasslands, and Marsh Violet (V. palustris) on moorland and wetter habitats in the north and west. Other violets may be used occasionally.

Habitat

The butterfly occurs in a range of flower-rich grasslands, often with patches of scrub, including: coastal grassland, dunes and scrub; chalk and limestone grassland; moorland and wet flushes; acid grassland with bracken; and occasionally woodland rides and clearings.

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Essex Skipper

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Essex Skipper - Photograph by Jim Asher

A small butterfly with a darting flight, widespread in England and Wales. Bright orange-brown wings held with forewings angled above hind wings. Males have thin black line through centre of fore-wing, parallel to leading edge. Small Skipper is similar but lacks black tips to antenna (best viewed head on) and has longer scent brand, angled to edge of fore-wing.

Resident

Range expanding.

Essex Skipper butterflies closely resemble and are often found in company with Small Skippers. Because of the similarities, the Essex Skipper has been overlooked both in terms of recording and ecological study, and it was the last British resident species to be described (in 1889).

The simplest means of distinguishing between the two species in the field is by examining the undersides of the tips of their club-shaped antennae; they are black in the Essex Skipper and orange or brown in the Small Skipper. However misidentifications still occur.

The distribution of the Essex Skipper in Britain has more than doubled in the last few decades.

Conservation status

European/world range

Much of Europe, including southern Scandinavia, eastwards across much of Asia and North Africa. Distribution expanding at the northern edge of its range in Europe. Introduced to North America in 1910, since when it has spread widely and become a pest of hay crops.

Foodplants

The main species used is Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), although the butterfly may use several other grasses including Creeping Soft-grass (Holcus mollis), Common Couch (Elytrigia repens), Timothy (Phleum pratense), Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), and Tor-grass (B. pinnatum). It rarely uses Yorkshire-fog (B. pinnatum), the preferred foodplant of the Small Skipper.

Habitat

The Essex Skipper is found in tall, dry grasslands in open sunny situations, especially roadside verges, woodland rides, and acid grasslands, as well as coastal marshes.

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Large Skipper

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Large Skipper - Photograph by Jim Asher    Large Skipper - Photograph by Jim Asher

A small widespread butterfly with a darting flight. Upperwings orange with brown margins with a few pale orange spots. Males have thick black line through centre of fore-wing. Undersides have faint orange spots unlike bright silver spots in Silver-spotted Skipper.

Resident

Range expanding.

Male Large Skippers are most often found perching in a prominent, sunny position, usually on a large leaf at a boundary between taller and shorter vegetation, awaiting passing females. Females are less conspicuous, though both sexes may be seen feeding on flowers, Bramble being a favourite. The presence of a faint chequered pattern on both sides of the wings distinguishes this species from the similar Small and Essex Skippers, which fly at the same time.

The Large Skipper is widespread in southern Britain and its range has extended northwards in north-east England since the 1960s.

Conservation status

European/world range

Widespread through most of Europe, occurring as far north as latitude 64B0N in Sweden, and extending eastwards throughout Asia to China and Japan. Stable in most European countries.

Foodplants

Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata) and occasionally Purple Moor-grass (Molinia caerulea) and False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) are used. Females have been observed laying eggs on Tor-grass (B. pinnatum) and Wood Small-reed (Calamagrostis epigejos).

Habitat

This butterfly favours grassy areas, where foodplants grow in sheltered, often damp, situations and remain tall and uncut. It is found in a wide variety of habitats where there are shrubs, tall herbs, and grasses, for example woodland rides and clearings, pastures, roadside verges, hedgerows, and wet heathland. It is also a species of urban habitats, occurring in parks, churchyards, and other places with long grasses.

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Large Tortoiseshell

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Large Tortoiseshell - Photograph by Jim Asher

Large orange butterfly that is thought to be extinct and occurs only as a rare migrant. Larger and duller colourings than Small Tortoiseshell and lacks white spot in corner of forewing.

Extinct  (1980s)

This large, mobile butterfly is now seen very rarely and is thought to be extinct in Britain. Sightings in recent years are thought to be of released or escaped individuals, or migrants from continental Europe.

Adults are recorded mainly in spring when they emerge from hibernation and feed on willow flowers, from which they soar rapidly into the treetops at the least disturbance. They may also be seen in late summer feeding before hibernation.

In common with other nymphalids, the undersides of the wings are cryptically coloured.

Conservation status

European/world range

Across Europe, except for northern Scandinavia, though it is increasingly scarce in northern Europe. It also occurs in North Africa and eastwards into Asia. There has been a marked decline in a number of European countries.

Foodplants

Elms (Ulmus spp.) are the main foodplants, especially Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra). Other trees may be used in the wild, including willows (Salix spp.), Aspen (Populus tremula), poplars (Populus spp.), and birches (Betula spp.).

Habitat

In mainland Europe (and in the past in Britain), clearings and the edges of mature deciduous woodland are favoured, as are lines of trees, for example along hedgerows, avenues in parkland, and wooded lanes. Willows are usually abundant at breeding localities and their flowers are the main nectar source for adults emerging from hibernation.

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Marsh Fritillary

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Marsh Fritillary - Photograph by Jim Asher   Marsh Fritillary - Photograph by Jim Asher

Found all over UK but scarce. Restricted to chalk and limestone grassland, damp fields and heaths. Cream spots among the orange and brown on the upper wings separate this medium-sized butterfly from other fritillaries.

Resident

Range declining.

The wings of this beautiful butterfly are more brightly patterned than those of other fritillaries, with more heavily marked races being found in Scotland and Ireland. The larvae spin conspicuous webs that can easily be recorded in late summer.

The Marsh Fritillary was once widespread in Britain and Ireland but has declined severely over the twentieth century, a decline mirrored throughout Europe. Its populations are highly volatile and the species probably requires extensive habitats or habitat networks for its long term survival.

Conservation status

European/world range

Widely distributed across Europe to Asia as far east as Korea. Declining in most European countries.

Foodplants

The main foodplant is Devil's-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis). On calcareous grassland, it occasionally uses Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis) and Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria).

Habitat

The Marsh Fritillary breeds in open grassy habitats, especially damp grassland dominated by tussock-forming grasses; calcareous grassland (usually on west- or south-facing slopes in England or on eskers in Ireland); and heath and mire vegetation with Devil's-bit Scabious. Temporary colonies may also exist in large (> 1 ha) woodland clearings and in other grasslands.

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Painted Lady

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Painted Lady - Photograph by Jim Asher     Painted Lady - Photograph by Jim Asher

Common and widespread migrant found throughout Britain and Ireland in most years. Orange-brown wings with black and white spots on forewing. Undersides mottled brown with spots.

Regular migrant

The Painted Lady is a long-distance migrant, which causes the most spectacular butterfly migrations observed in Britain and Ireland.

Each year, it spreads northwards from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, recolonizing mainland Europe and reaching Britain and Ireland. In some years it is an abundant butterfly, frequenting gardens and other flowery places in late summer.

Conservation status

European/world range

Worldwide, with the exception of South America. The Australian form has been classified as a separate species by some authors. Occurs in most of Europe only as a migrant and summer breeding species.

Foodplants

A wide range of foodplants may be used, with thistles (Cirsium spp. and Carduus spp.) being preferred in Britain and Ireland. Mallows (Malva spp.), Common Nettle (Urtica dioica), Viper's-bugloss (Echium vulgare), and various cultivated plants also have been recorded as larval foodplants here.

Habitat

Because it is a wide-ranging migrant, the Painted Lady may be seen in any habitat. Adults tend to congregate in open areas with plenty of thistles, which serve both as larval foodplants and nectar sources for adults.

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Pearl-bordered Fritillary

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Photograph by Jim Asher    Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Photograph by Jim Asher

Scattered colonies in England and Wales, more widespread in Scotland. Also found in Burren region of Ireland. Medium-sized, orange and black with and silver markings on the underside. Very similar to the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, which has a full row of pearls in the middle of the hindwing and a larger central spot.

Resident

Range declining in England and Wales.

This is one of the earliest fritillaries to emerge and can be found as early as April in woodland clearings or rough hillsides with bracken.

It flies close to the ground, stopping regularly to feed on spring flowers such as Bugle. It can be distinguished from the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary by the two large silver 'pearls' and row of seven outer 'pearls' on the underside hind wing, and also the red (as opposed to black) chevrons around the outer pearls and the small central spot on the hind wing.

The butterfly was once very widespread but has declined rapidly in recent decades, and is now highly threatened in England and Wales.

Conservation status

European/world range

Widespread across Europe from northern Spain to Scandinavia, and eastwards to Russia and Asia. Apparently stable through much of Europe but declines reported in at least 12 countries.


Foodplants
The most widely used foodplant is Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) although it can use other violets such as Heath Dog-violet (V. canina) and in the north, Marsh Violet (V. palustris).


Habitat
Three main habitats are used: woodland clearings, usually in recently coppiced or clear-felled woodland; well-drained habitats with mosaics of grass, dense bracken, and light scrub; and open deciduous wood-pasture in Scotland, typically on south-facing edges of birch or oak woodland where there are patches of dense bracken and grazing by deer and/or sheep.

In all habitats it requires abundant foodplants growing in short, sparse vegetation, where there is abundant leaf litter.

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Silver-washed Fritillary

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Silver-washed Fritillary - Photograph by Jim Asher       Silver-washed Fritillary - Photograph by Jim Asher

Widespread across southern England and Wales and more locally in northern England and Ireland. Large fast flying butterfly separated from other fritillaries by its pointed wings and silver streaks on the undersides.

Resident

Decline and slight re-expansion of range.

The swooping flight of this large and graceful butterfly is one of the most beautiful sights to be found in woodland during high summer. It is named after the silver streaks on the underside which can be viewed as it stops to feed on flowers such as Bramble.

Although the butterfly is seen mostly in sunny glades and rides, it actually breeds in the shadier parts of adjacent woodland. In southern England, a small proportion of females have wings that are bronze-green, known as the form valezina.

The Silver-washed Fritillary declined during the twentieth century, especially in England and Wales, but has spread noticeably during recent decades.

Conservation status

European/world range

Across Europe, to 62B:N in Sweden and throughout the Mediterranean to North Africa, and eastwards across to China and Japan. Declining in several European countries but spreading northwards in Sweden and Finland.

Foodplants

The main foodplant is Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) growing in shady or semi-shady positions on the woodland floor.

Habitat

The butterfly breeds in broad-leaved woodland, especially oak woodland or woods with sunny rides and glades. It occasionally uses mixed broad-leaved and conifer plantations and, in parts of south-west England and Ireland, also breeds in wooded hedgerows and sheltered lanes near to woods.

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Small Copper

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

May have 2,3 or 4 broods per year.

Small Copper - Photograph by     Small Copper - Photograph by Jim Asher

A small butterfly that is widespread through Britain and Ireland, and occasionally visits gardens. Bright copper with brown spots and brown margin. Undersides orange-brown with spots.

Resident

Range stable.

The Small Copper is usually seen in ones and twos, but in some years large numbers may be found at good sites. Males are territorial, often choosing a piece of bare ground or a stone on which to bask and await passing females. They behave aggressively towards any passing insects, returning to the same spot when the chase is over.

Though it remains a common and widespread species, the Small Copper declined throughout its range during the twentieth century.

Conservation status

European/world range

Widespread and common throughout most of Europe including all larger Mediterranean islands. It occurs in North Africa and across Asia to Japan, and also in North America. Stable in most European countries.

Foodplants

Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and Sheep's Sorrel (R. acetosella) are the main foodplants. Broad-leaved Dock (R. obtusifolius) may occasionally be used.

Habitat

It occurs in a wide variety of habitats: chalk grassland, moorland, heathland, coastal dunes and undercliffs, woodland clearings, and unimproved grassland. This species may be found also in small patches of land such as set-aside fields, roadside verges, railway embankments, allotments, churchyards, and waste ground, even in cities. Warm, dry situations are especially favoured.

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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Photograph by Jim Asher       Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Photograph by Jim Asher

Widespread across upland and western Britain, but not found in central and eastern England or Ireland. Medium-sized orange butterfly with black markings and silvery patches on the underside. Very similar to the Pearl-bordered Fritillary which has only two "pearls" on the under hindwing and a smaller central spot.


Resident

Range declining in England.

This fritillary is similar in size and habits to the Pearl-bordered Fritillary but is more widespread and occurs in damper, grassy habitats as well as woodland clearings and moorland.

The adults fly close to the ground, stopping frequently to take nectar from flowers such as Bramble and thistles. It can be identified from the more numerous whitish pearls on the underside hind wings, the outer ones bordered by black chevrons, and from the larger black central dot.

The butterfly remains widespread and locally abundant in Scotland and Wales, but has undergone a severe decline in England.

Conservation status

European/world range

Widespread across central and northern Europe and through Asia to Korea. Also occurs in North America. Range appears stable through much of Europe but declines have been reported in at least nine countries.

Foodplants

The most widely used foodplants are Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) and Marsh Violet (V. palustris). It may occasionally feed on other violet species.

Habitat

There are four main habitats: woodland glades and clearings (mainly in southern Britain); damp grassland and moorland (in western and northern Britain); grassland with bracken and/or patches of scrub; and open wood-pasture and wood edges in Scotland, usually where there is some grazing by deer and/or sheep.

Other habitats used include dune slacks and coastal cliffs. In all habitats it breeds in damp, grassy vegetation where there is abundant foodplant growing in a fairly lush sward.

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Small Skipper

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Small Skipper - Photograph by Jim Asher

A small butterfly with a darting flight, widespread England and Wales. Bright orange-brown wings held with forewings angled above hind wings. Males have thin black line through centre of fore-wing. Essex Skipper is similar but has black tips to antenna (best viewed head on) and shorter scent brand which runs parallel to forewing edge rather than angled.

Resident

Range expanding.

Small Skippers are insects of high summer. Although they spend much of their time basking or resting among vegetation, they are marvellous flyers, manoeuvring expertly through tall grass stems. It is these darting flights, wings glinting golden-brown in the sunlight, that normally alert an observer to their presence. Closer examination will reveal many more individuals nectaring or basking with their wings held in the half-open posture distinctive of skipper butterflies.

The butterfly is widespread in southern Britain and its range has expanded northwards in recent years.

Conservation status

European/world range

Much of Europe, as far north as the Baltic States and Denmark and east to the Urals. Also in North Africa and the Middle East. Its distribution in Europe is generally stable with some northward expansion.

Foodplants

The Small Skipper almost exclusively uses Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus), although several other grasses have been recorded as foodplants, for example Timothy (Phleum pratense), Creeping Soft-grass (H. mollis), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis), and Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata).

Habitat

Small Skipper colonies are found where grasses are allowed to grow tall. Typical habitats are unimproved rough grassland, downs, verges, sunny rides, and woodland clearings. Colonies can occur on small patches of suitable habitat such as roadside verges and field margins.

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Small Tortoiseshell

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Small Tortoiseshell - Photograph by Jim Asher

Widespread throughout Britain and Ireland, commonly found in gardens. Bright orange and black wings with white spot in forewing which separates it from the larger and much rarer Large Tortoiseshell.

Resident

Range stable.

The Small Tortoiseshell is among the most well known butterflies in Britain and Ireland. The striking and attractive patterning, and its appearance at almost any time of the year in urban areas have made it a familiar species. It is one of the first butterflies to be seen in spring and in the autumn it often visits garden flowers in large numbers.

The Small Tortoiseshell is one of our most widespread species and has shown little overall change in range.

Conservation status

European/world range

Widespread from the Atlantic coast of Europe through to the Pacific coast of Asia. The distribution in Europe is stable.

Foodplants

Common Nettle (Urtica dioica) and Small Nettle (U. urens) are used.

Habitat

The adult butterflies can be seen in any habitat, from mountain summits above 1000m to city centres. The foodplants prosper in nutrient-enriched soils and breeding habitats are often associated with human activity, even areas of intensive agriculture. Breeding has been recorded at altitudes of over 300m.

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Gatekeeper

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Gatekeeper - Photograph by Jim Asher  Gatekeeper

Widespread and common throughout England and Wales, and along the south coast of Ireland. Orange and brown, with black eyespot on forewing tip. Eyespots have two white pupils, not one, as in the Meadow Brown. Gatekeeper is also smaller and more orange with row of tiny white dots on hind underwings.

Resident

Range expanding in Britain.

As its English names suggest, the Gatekeeper (also known as the Hedge Brown) is often encountered where clumps of flowers grow in gateways and along hedgerows and field edges. It is often seen together with the Meadow Brown and Ringlet, from which it is easily distinguished when basking or nectaring with open wings.

The colour and patterning of the wings are very variable and about a dozen aberrations have been named. Favourite nectar sources include Wild Marjoram, Common Fleabane, ragworts, and Bramble.

It is widespread in southern Britain and its range has extended northwards in recent years. Its range is far more localized in southern Ireland.

Conservation status

European/world range

It occurs widely across Europe south of 53B:N, to Asia Minor and the Caucasus, and also occurs locally in Morocco. It is declining in several European countries.

Foodplants

Various grasses are used, with a preference for fine grasses such as bents (Agrostis spp.), fescues (Festuca spp.), and meadow-grasses (Poa spp.). Common Couch (Elytrigia repens) is also used. The full range of other species used is not known.

Habitat

This species is found in grassland where tall grasses grow close to hedges, trees, or scrub, particularly along hedgerows and woodland rides and also in habitats such as undercliffs, heathland, and downland where there are patches of scrub. Open grassland with short vegetation is avoided.

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High Brown Fritillary

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

High Brown Fritillary - Photograph by Jim Asher    High Brown Fritillary by Peter Eeles

Orange and black wings and fast flight distinguish this large butterfly from most others. found on Dartmoor and Morecambe Bay, and in a few locations in western England and in Wales.

   

Resident

Range declining.

This large, powerful butterfly is usually seen flying swiftly over the tops of bracken or low vegetation in woodland clearings. In flight, the males are almost impossible to separate from those of the Dark Green Fritillary, which often share the same habitats. However, both species frequently visit flowers such as thistles and Bramble where it is possible to see their distinctive underside wing markings.The Dark Green lacks the orange ringed 'pearls' on the underside of the hindwing.

The High Brown Fritillary was once widespread in England and Wales but since the 1950s has undergone a dramatic decline. It is now reduced to around 50 sites where conservationists are working to save it from extinction.


Conservation status


European/world range

Occurs widely through Europe and across temperate Asia to Japan. Although locally abundant in Europe, it has declined in at least eight countries.


Foodplants

Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) is used in all habitats, but Hairy Violet (V. hirta) is also used in limestone areas. It may occasionally use Heath Dog-violet (V. canina) and Pale Dog-violet (V. lactea).


Habitat

Two main habitats are used: bracken-dominated habitats or grass/bracken mosaics, and limestone rock outcrops, usually where scrub or woodland has recently been cleared or coppiced. Formerly the butterfly occurred in woodland clearings, probably where bracken was also present.

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Wall Brown

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

Wall Brown - Photograph by Jim Asher     Wall Brown - Photograph by Jim Asher

Found in northern and western Britain and southern Scotland, and on coast. Orange and brown, often basks on walls, stones and bare ground. Similar size and colour to Gatekeeper, but Wall is much more heavily patterned.

Resident

Declining in some inland areas, slight spread in north of Britain.

The Wall is aptly named after its habit of basking on walls, rocks, and stony places. The delicately patterned light brown undersides provide good camouflage against a stony or sandy surface. In hot weather, males patrol fast and low over the ground, seeking out females. In cooler weather, they will bask in sunny spots and fly up to intercept females, or to drive off other males.

The Wall is widely distributed, but rarely occurs in large numbers. Over the last decade, it has declined substantially in many inland areas of central England and Northern Ireland.

Conservation status

European/world range

Extends across most of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, between 33 B0N and 55 B0N, and into southern Scandinavia. The range appears to be expanding northwards in Europe, although declines have been reported in several countries.

Foodplants

Various grasses are used, including Tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum), False Brome (B. sylvaticum), Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), bents (Agrostis spp.), Wavy Hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa), and Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus).

Habitat

The Wall breeds in short, open grassland where the turf is broken or stony. It is found in dunes and other coastal habitats (including vegetated undercliffs and rocky foreshores) as well as disturbed land (including railway embankments and cuttings), disused quarries, derelict land, and gardens.

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