Belongs to: brown butterflies

Wall brown Lasiommata megera

Also known as: wall

dramatic recent decline


Best time to see: May to early Sep

Key facts

A brown butterfly of rough grassland with sunbaked open ground

Habitat: wasteland and disturbed ground

Common through lowland Wales and England

Recognition

Bright orange upperside with dark borders and wavy lines and a white-pupilled black eyespot; underside paler

Often basks on bare ground, such as paths, with wings two-thirds open

Fly rapidly for a short way when disturbed, before settling on another bare patch; wingspan 4.5 cm

Lifecycle

Spherical white eggs laid singly or in small clusters on blades of grass in late spring, late summer and sometimes autumn

Bluish-green caterpillars feed on coarse grasses, earlier broods pupating after about a month, later ones hibernating until early spring

  • Main photo
  • underside

Photo © Iris Newbery

Photo © Iris Newbery