Ringlet

  • Ringlet (upperwing)
    Ringlet (upperwing)
  • Ringlet (underwing)
    Ringlet (underwing)
  • Ringlet (male & female)
    Ringlet (male & female)
  • Ringlet (caterpillar)
    Ringlet (caterpillar)
  • Ringlet (pupa)
    Ringlet (pupa)
  • Video play iconRinglet (upperwing)
    Ringlet (video)
  • Ringlet (upperwing)
    Ringlet (upperwing)
  • Ringlet (underwing)
    Ringlet (underwing)
  • Ringlet (male & female)
    Ringlet (male & female)
  • Ringlet (caterpillar)
    Ringlet (caterpillar)
  • Ringlet (pupa)
    Ringlet (pupa)
  • Ringlet (upperwing)
    Ringlet (video)

Scientific name: Aphantopus hyperantus

Underwing has distinctive eyespots: white centre, black inner ring and outer yellow ring.

When newly emerged, the Ringlet has a velvety appearance and is almost black, with a white fringe to the wings. The small circles on the underwings, which give the butterfly its name, vary in number and size and may be enlarged and elongated or reduced to small white spots; occasionally they lack the black ring. They are a dark brown butterfly and similar to male Meadow Brown

Bramble and Wild Privet flowers are favourite nectar sources, and adults continue to fly with a characteristic bobbing flight in dull, cloudy conditions when most other butterflies are inactive.

This widespread butterfly has extended it range in England and Scotland in recent years. Widespread on damp grassland throughout Britain and Ireland.

Size and Family

  • Family – Browns
  • Medium Sized 
  • Wing Span Range (male to female) - 48-52mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP status: Not listed     
  • Butterfly Conservation priority: Low                          
  • European status: Not threatened

Caterpillar Foodplants

Coarser grasses are used, including Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), Common Couch (Elytrigia repens), and meadow-grasses (Poa spp.). Other species of grass may also be used.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Irleland and Scotland
  • Found everywhere apart from northern Scotland
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: +16%

Habitat

Woodland rides and glades and damp grassland where grasses are lush and tall (it likes damp situations with partial shade). The butterfly also occurs on commons, verges and riverbanks, especially on clay soils. In Northern areas it is found in more open and less shady habitats.

Factsheets

Similar species