It is found around the coast as far north as southern Scotland. Inland, it is more widespread in northern England and southern Scotland. The Wall is 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 in south-west and south-east Scotland, but rarely occurs in large numbers. Over the last decade, it has been spreading north in south-east Scotland.

Size and Family

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

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).



The Wall favours short, open grassland, where turf is broken or stony. It is also found on dunes and other coastal habitats, as well as disused quarries, derelict land, farm tracks, railway embankments and cuttings, gardens and field edges.