Wall

  • Wall (upperwing)
    Wall (upperwing)
  • Wall (male & female)
    Wall (male & female)
  • Wall (underwing)
    Wall (underwing)
  • Wall (caterpillar)
    Wall (caterpillar)
  • Video play iconWall (upperwing)
    Wall (video)
  • Wall (upperwing)
    Wall (upperwing)
  • Wall (male & female)
    Wall (male & female)
  • Wall (underwing)
    Wall (underwing)
  • Wall (caterpillar)
    Wall (caterpillar)
  • Wall (upperwing)
    Wall (video)

Scientific name: Lasiommata megera

Orange and brown, often basks on walls, stones and bare ground.

Found in northern and western Britain and southern Scotland, and on coast. Similar size and colour to Gatekeeper, but Wall is much more heavily patterned.

The Wall is aptly named after its habit of basking on walls, rocks, and stony places. The delicately patterned light brown undersides provide good camouflage against a stony or sandy surface. In hot weather, males patrol fast and low over the ground, seeking out females. In cooler weather, they will bask in sunny spots and fly up to intercept females, or to drive off other males.

The Wall is widely distributed, but rarely occurs in large numbers. Over the last decade, it has declined substantially in many inland areas of central England and Northern Ireland.

Size and Family

  • Family – Browns
  • Medium Sized 
  • Wing Span Range (male to female) - 44-46mm

Conservation status

  • Listed as a Section 41 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in England
  • Listed as a Section 42 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in Wales
  • Classified as a Northern Ireland Priority Species by the NIEA
  • UK BAP status: Priority Species (for research only)
  • Butterfly Conservation priority: High
  • European threat status: Not threatened

Caterpillar Foodplants

Various grasses are used, including Tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum), False Brome (B. sylvaticum), Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), bents (Agrostis spp.) Wavy Hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa), and Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus).

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
  • Widespread in England, Wales and Ireland, but increasingly scarce inland
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: -38%

Habitat

Short open grassland where turf is broken or stony. It is found on dunes and other coastal habitats but can also be found on on; disused quarries, derelict land, farm tracks, railway embankments and cuttings, gardens and field edges. 

Factsheets

Similar species