Butterflies of Scotland
- Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)

With its wings edged in silvery white and its distinctive ringed eye spots under the wings, the Ringlet is easily recognised, despite its overall brown colour. These 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 and occasionally they lack the black ring. The eye spots apparently confuse predators as to the position of its body.

The upper sides of the wings are a sooty brown with small black eyespots (see graphic below). The upper wings of males are darker than those of females. Wingspan is from 4.5 to 5 centimetres.

The Ringlet can be seen from late June to mid-August, flitting across fields of grass. It is one of the few butterflies that flies in dull and overcast weather. With many butterflies in decline, it is good to see that the Ringlet is being found in an increasing number of areas. They are found in wet, grassy plces such as fields, ditchesand motorway embankments. Its life-span as butterfly is just two weeks; the Ringlet caterpillars on the other hand live for 11 months, feeding on grass t night. The eggs are dropped at random onto grasses by the female while she is in flight.

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