Pearly Heath Butterfly - Coenonympha arcania

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Lepidoptera - Family: Nymphalidae

Pearly Heath butterfly, France

This smallish butterfly (wingspan 1.7 to 1.9cm) is found in grassland and open woodland. In common with other butterflies in the 'Browns' group this butterfly holds its wings together when at rest.

Pearly Heath butterfly

The Pearly Heath is one of 39 members of the Coenonympha genus that are currently listed worldwide, and of these 14 have so far been recorded in Europe.

Pearly Heath butterfly, France, showing a hint of upperwings


Fairly common in central and southern Europe, excluding the southern half of the Iberian Peninsula, the Pearly Heath is also found into Asia at least as far as Iran. It does not ocur in Britain.


The eggs are laid singly on grass near to bushes, and the caterpillars overwinter in the fourth instar. The pupa is suspended on a stalk. Pearly Heath butterflies can be seen on the wing between June and September.


This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Steve Jelf.

Studying butterflies and moths...

Excited at the prospect of flyfishing? So are we, and we're pretty sure you would find the Winding River Mystery trilogy of action-packed thrillers gripping reading too. Dead Drift, Dead Cert, and Dead End are Pat O'Reilly's latest river-and-flyfishing based novels, and now they are available in ebook format. Full details on our website here...

Buy each book for just £4.96 on Amazon...

Please Help Us: If you have found this information interesting and useful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.

Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rivers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from books by Pat and Sue.

© 1995 - 2024 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy