Speckled Wood Argynnis paphia


The Speckled Wood is a butterfly of dappled woodland glades and can tolerate more shade than most other butterflies. It has undergone a dramatic expansion of its range during the 20th century, and is now common and widespread south of a line from Westmorland to South Yorkshire. It is also found in wooded hedgerows and in gardens.


The Speckled Wood is easy to identify from the cream markings against the chocolate ground colour of the upper wings.

Flight times

The Speckled Wood uniquely overwinters as both a chrysalis or a caterpillar, giving rise to 3 overlapping broods which appear between late March and early October.

Food plants

Eggs are laid singly a wide variety of grasses such as Cock's-foot, Yorkshire Fog and False Brome.

 picture of Speckled Wood butterfly
Speckled Wood - © Christine Maughan

Distribution Maps

Speckled Wood distribution map 2005-09
Speckled Wood distribution map 2010-14
Speckled Wood distribution map comparison of 2015-19
Speckled Wood distribution map comparison of 2005-19

Distribution is showing an infilling in established areas, with some expansion of its range into more northerly areas.

Speckled Wood distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 707
First sighting 22/03/2015
Last sighting 11/11/2015
Speckled Wood distribution map 2016
2016 Summary
No of tetrads 708
First sighting 25/03/2016
Last sighting 14/12/2016
Speckled Wood distribution map 2017
2017 Summary
No of tetrads 689
First sighting 14/03/2017
Last sighting 16/11/2017
Speckled Wood distribution map 2018
2018 Summary
No of tetrads 850
First sighting 14/04/2018
Last sighting 25/10/2018
Speckled Wood distribution map 2019
2019 Summary
No of tetrads 856
First sighting 08/01/2019
Last sighting 28/10/2019

Photo Gallery