Scientific name: Lasiommata megera
Orange and brown, often basks on walls, stones and bare ground.
Found around the coast as far north as southern Scotland. Inland it is more widespread in northern England and southern Scotland. Similar size and colour to Gatekeeper, but Wall is much more heavily patterned and sometimes confused with small fritillary butterflies.
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
- Size: Medium
- Wing Span Range (male to female): 44 - 46mm
- Butterfly Conservation priority: High
- Section 41 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in England (widespread but rapidly declining)
- Section 42 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in Wales (widespread but rapidly declining)
- UK BAP status: Priority Species (research only)
- Northern Ireland Priority Species
- European threat status: Not threatened
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).
Short open grassland where turf is broken or stony. It is found on dunes and other coastal habitats but can also be found on disused quarries, derelict land, farm tracks, railway embankments and cuttings, gardens and field edges.
- Countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
- Widespread in England, Wales and Ireland, but increasingly scarce inland.
- Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = -38%
- Butterflies in towns and cities
- Butterflies and farmland
- Farmland Butterflies ID chart
- Gardening for Butterflies and Moths