Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies
British Butterflies: Species: Species Account - The Speckled Wood:
Speckled Wood
Pararge aegeria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Speckled Wood egg.
ova
  Speckled Wood caterpillar.
larva
  Speckled Wood chrysalis
pupa
Speckled Wood
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Nomenclature
Insecta: Lepidoptera : Family Nymphalidae: Subfamily Satyrinae : Genus Pararge: Species aegeria:
Description
The Speckled Wood is a common species found in woodland and scrub where dappled sunlight and areas of lush grass grow in damper areas. The male will often be seen perched with wings wide open in areas of sunlight chasing intruders and females which wander by. Both male and female butterflies feed on honeydew in tree tops only occsionally being seen feeding on flowers.
Habitat
The Speckled Wood breeds in woodland habitats lanes and tracks between tall hedgerows parks, gardens, and scrub. It seems to prefer slightly damp areas where there is tall grass and some dappled shade.
Distribution
The Speckled Wood has spread since the 1920s following a contraction in its range during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It continued to spread during the 1980's and 90's recolonizing many areas in eastern and northern England and Scotland where it continues to spread northwards as a response to global warming.
Where to see the Speckled Wood in the British Isles
The Speckled Wood has spread since the 1920s following a contraction in its range during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It continued to spread during the 1980's and 90's recolonizing many areas in eastern and northern England and Scotland where it continues to spread northwards as a response to global warming.
Other notes
Lifecycle chart
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Flight chart
JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
The lifecycle and flight charts should be regarded as approximate guides to the Speckled Wood in Britain. Specific lifecycle states, adult emergence and peak flight times vary from year to year due to variations in weather conditions.
IUCN category status 2010 5   IUCN category status 2007 34
--awaiting data-- --awaiting data--

5Fox, R., Warren, M., Brereton, T. M., Roy, D. B. & Robinson, A.
(2010) A new Red List of British Butterflies. Insect Conservation and Diversity.
Least Concern Least Concern

3Fox, R., Warren, M & Brereton, T.
(2007) New Red List of British Butterflies. Butterfly Conservation, Wareham.

4More information about IUCN categories.
Wingspan
46-56mm
UK status
Resident
Larval foodplants
The larvae of the Speckled Wood feed on a variety of grasses including False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus) Common Couch (Elytrigia repens) and Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata).
British subspecies
Pararge aegeria ssp. insula (Howarth, 1971)
Occurs on the Isles of Scilly only.
Pararge aegeria ssp. oblita (Harrison, 1949)
Occurs in Scotland only.
Pararge aegeria ssp. tircis (Godard, 1821)
Occurs in England, Ireland and Wales but is absent in Scotland and the Isles of Scilly.
Butterflies of Britain ID Chart
Your personal guide to British Butterflies. This 8-panel laminated chart is designed for speedy butterfly identification in the field. Ideal for anyone interested in identifying butterflies, perfect for children and adults and ideal for outdoor use, laminated, shower-proof and robust. Get your copy today.
Butterflies of Britain (Laminated ID Chart).
Online store
Visit our online store for many more butterfly related books and gifts.
Population trends 1
UK Population trend 1995-2004 up by 66%
UK Population trend 1976-2004 up by 160%

1Fox, R., Asher. J., Brereton. T., Roy, D & Warren, M. (2006) The State of Butterflies in Britain & Ireland, Pices, Oxford.
UK BAP status 2
UK BAP status not listed (link)

2For information about the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, visit the JNCC web site jncc.defra.gov.uk.

National Biodiversity Network Gateway
National Biodiversity Network Gateway Distribution Map



Areas in and indicate a contraction in distribution of the Speckled Wood except in Ireland where data is only available up until 1999.

* Records shown in outside the natural distribution may be the result of illegal or accidental releases by breeders or, depending upon the species, migrant individuals from mainland Europe.

Key to map*
= 2000 to 2010 inclusive (current distribution)
= records from 1950 to 1999 inclusive
= records from 1900 to 1949 inclusive
Records prior to 1st January 1900 are not shown.

The NBN Gateway records are shown on the map right. (See terms and conditions).

More data is available on the Speckled Wood on the NBN Gateway web site.
Powered by NBN Gateway.
References
For full details of books and reports mentioned on this web site, view the references page.

Find out more online*
Speckled Wood can be found on Peter Eeles excellent UK Butterflies web site.
Speckled Wood can be found on Matt Rowlings excellent European Butterflies web site.

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Photographs of the Speckled Wood
Image ID BB2014 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood (imago)
BB2014 ©
Image ID BB1717 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood female (imago)
BB1717 ©
Image ID BB1169 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood male (imago)
BB1169 ©
Image ID BB1168 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood female (imago)
BB1168 ©
Image ID BB1167 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood unknown (imago)
BB1167 ©
Image ID BB706 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood male (imago)
BB706 ©
Image ID BB705 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood male (imago)
BB705 ©
Image ID BB704 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood female (imago)
BB704 ©
Image ID BB569 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood unknown (imago)
BB569 ©
Image ID BB562 - Speckled Wood - © Steven Cheshire
Speckled Wood male (imago)
BB562 ©
There are 22 photographs of the Speckled Wood in our stock photo library.
View more photographs of the Speckled Wood as a thumbnail gallery or as a slideshow.
Aberrations and forms
There are 8 named aberrant forms of the Speckled Wood currently listed. Find out more about aberrants here.

ab. bilinea - Verity 1953
ab. cockaynei - Goodson 1951
ab. conjuncta - Schnaider 1950
ab. infranigrans - Verity 1920
ab. kulczynskii - Prüffer 1921
ab. latefasciata - Lempke 1957
ab. saturatior - Crombrugghe 1911
ab. venata - Lempke 1957