Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina
The Meadow Brown is one of our most widespread and common butterflies. It is a butterfly of open grasslands, but intensification of farming has reduced its numbers in agricultural areas. If is also found in a wide variety of other habitats including woodland rides, roadside verges, dunes and wastelands.
The male is a plain chocolate brown butterfly with a tiny eye spot on the upper forewings. The female is larger and has a bright orange blaze on the forewing. In comparison with the Gatekeeper it usually has only one white pupil in the eye spot of the forewing. The underwing is characterised by having small black dots as opposed to the white dots of the Gatekeeper.
The Meadow Brown has a single brood, but the variable rate of larval development leads to a long flight period between mid-June and mid-October.
Eggs are laid or dropped among grasses including Sheep's Fescue and Annual Meadow-grass.