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Large Wall Brown Butterfly - Lasiommata maera

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

Large Wall Brown Butterfly - Lasiommata maera (male)

This 'brown' butterfly is not native to Britain, and the occasional sightings that have been recorded are generally thought to be the result of artificial introductions.

Description

The upperwing background is brown, the forewing with a large eyespot near the apex, while edge of the hindwing has arow of smaller eyespots.The eyespots maiarey black with white centres surrounded by reddish-orange rings. The forewings usually have reddish patches below large eyespots, largest and most distinctive on females. On the underside, the forewing brown, tip with large eyespot, edge with red embroidery. The background colour of the underside of the forewings is orange, while the underside of the hindwings is marbled with grey brown. The wingspan range is 4.4 to 5.6cm.

Large Wall Brown, Bulgaria

Habitat

This is a butterfly of open barren stony land and dry grassy sites from coastal cliffs and lowlands to rocky mountain slopes.

Distribution

Large Wall Browns are found throughout most of Europe, excluding Britain and Ireland; their range extends eastwards to Greece and Turkey and southwards to parts of North Africa.

Lifecycle

The larval foodplants of this species are various grasses (family Poaceae). In most of its range this is a univoltine species, but in warm southen countries there is sometimes a second brood.

The pale green eggs are more or less spherical, while the caterpillars are green and covered in short hairs; the pupae are also green. Overwintering is at the caterpillar stage.

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