Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies
British Butterflies: Species: Species Account - The Wall Brown:
Wall Brown
Lasiommata megera (Linnaeus, 1767)

Wall Brown egg.
ova
  Wall Brown caterpillar.
larva
  Wall Brown chrysalis
pupa
Wall Brown
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Nomenclature
Insecta: Lepidoptera : Family Nymphalidae: Subfamily Satyrinae : Genus Lasiommata: Species megera:
Description
The delicately patterned light brown undersides of the Wall Brown give excellent camouflage against a stony or sandy surfaces. It has a particular habit of basking on walls rocks bare patches of earth and stony places.

During hot sunnt weather, the males patrol their territory, flying fast and low over the ground, seeking out unmated females. In cool, dull weather, the males bask in sunny spots, flying up to intercept passing females, or to drive off other males and other butterflies.

The Wall Brown is a Priority Species for conservation due to the continued loss of habitat and resulting drop in population.
Habitat
The Wall requires short grassland where the turf is bare broken or stony. It occurs on dunes and other coastal habitats such as undercliffs and rocky foreshores as well as disturbed land such as railway embankments and cuttings disused quarries, derelict land, and sometimes gardens.
Distribution
The Wall is widely distributed but very rarely occurs in large numbers. Sometimes it is encountered in good numbers in small descrete colonies. Over the last ten to fifteen years it has declined substantially in many inland areas of central England and Northern Ireland and also appears to be declining in southern coastal localities with a slight spread into the north of Britain, probably due to global warming.
Where to see the Wall Brown in the British Isles
The Wall is widely distributed but very rarely occurs in large numbers. Sometimes it is encountered in good numbers in small descrete colonies. Over the last ten to fifteen years it has declined substantially in many inland areas of central England and Northern Ireland and also appears to be declining in southern coastal localities with a slight spread into the north of Britain, probably due to global warming.
Other notes
Lifecycle chart
------------
 
Flight chart
JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
The lifecycle and flight charts should be regarded as approximate guides to the Wall Brown 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.
Near Threatened Near Threatened

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

4More information about IUCN categories.
Wingspan
45-53mm
UK status
Resident
Larval foodplants
The larval foodplants consist of various grasses including: Tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum) False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), Wavy Hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa), Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus) and bents (Agrostis spp).
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 down by -2%
UK Population trend 1976-2004 down by -65%

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 candidate priority species (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 Wall Brown 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 Wall Brown 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*
Wall Brown can be found on Peter Eeles excellent UK Butterflies web site.
Wall Brown can be found on Matt Rowlings excellent European Butterflies web site.

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Photographs of the Wall Brown
Image ID BB1924 - Wall Brown - © Steven Cheshire
Wall Brown male (imago)
BB1924 ©
Image ID BB1662 - Wall Brown - © Debbie Cheshire
Wall Brown female (imago)
BB1662 ©
Image ID BB1226 - Wall Brown - © Debbie Cheshire
Wall Brown male (imago)
BB1226 ©
Image ID BB1225 - Wall Brown - © Steven Cheshire
Wall Brown male (imago)
BB1225 ©
Image ID BB1046 - Wall Brown - © Steven Cheshire
Wall Brown male (imago)
BB1046 ©
Image ID BB1045 - Wall Brown - © Steven Cheshire
Wall Brown female (imago)
BB1045 ©
Image ID BB1044 - Wall Brown - © Steven Cheshire
Wall Brown female (imago)
BB1044 ©
Image ID BB1043 - Wall Brown - © Steven Cheshire
Wall Brown female (imago)
BB1043 ©
Image ID BB1042 - Wall Brown - © Steven Cheshire
Wall Brown female (imago)
BB1042 ©
Image ID BB1041 - Wall Brown - © Steven Cheshire
Wall Brown female (imago)
BB1041 ©
There are 13 photographs of the Wall Brown in our stock photo library.
View more photographs of the Wall Brown as a thumbnail gallery or as a slideshow.
Aberrations and forms
There are 12 named aberrant forms of the Wall Brown currently listed. Find out more about aberrants here.

ab. anticrassipuncta - Lempke 1957
ab. bradanfelda - Blackie 1920
ab. croesus - Stauder 1922
ab. goodsoni - Hopkins 1955
ab. impupillata - Lempke 1947
ab. latimargo - Stammeshaus 1954
ab. lugens - Oberthür 1912
ab. mediolugens - Fuchs 1892
ab. pallescens - Oberthür  1912
ab. pallida - Gillmer 1908
ab. parviocellata - Lempke 1957
ab. reducta - Hofer  1920