Speckled Wood

The Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) prefers dappled woodland as it is shade tolerant.  It will be seen in greater numbers following cool, wet winters, whereas dry seasons lead to a decrease in butterflies on the wing.

It will be found almost anywhere in England but will favour lanes, hedgerows and gardens. The adult will be seen from April until mid-October.  It has one unique feature in that it can overwinter both as a caterpillar and a chrysalis which give rise to three overlapping broods during the season.

The female’s pale spots are larger than those of the male.  Eggs are laid on many types of grasses and hatch after ten days.  The chrysalis conceals itself amongst vegetation.  The emerging caterpillars will remain as such for one month unless they hibernate in which case they will remain as such for six to eight months.

 

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Speckled Wood Butterfly (female)