Belongs to: brown butterflies

Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus


Best time to see: Jul to early Aug

Key facts

A dark brown butterfly of damp, open woods

Habitat: damp, open spots where native grasses grow tall, such as woodland glades and rides and overgrown hedgerows

Common across much of England and Wales, excluding the more urban areas; common across Essex but not inside the M25 ring

Recognition

Dark brown upperwings with a white fringe; underwings have a string of conspicuous eyes with white centres

Often seen feeding on brambles, usually with wings closed; weak, fluttering flight

Unlike most butterflies, flies in overcast weather and even during light showers

Lifecycle

Eggs are dropped to ground among tall grasses in damp places, in late summer

Pale brown caterpillars feed on tall grasses at night, hibernating when quite small

Chrysalis forms at the base of a clump of grasses in June, adults emerging in July/August

  • Main photo
  • underside

Photo © Ken Wooldridge

Photo © Gordon Chalk