Northern Brown Argus (Aricia artaxerxes)

Male. Taken at Baderitza, Bulgaria on July 26th 2015.
(1/320th sec at f11. Approx 4x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male underside. Taken at Arnside Knott, Cumbria, on June 27th 2018.
(1/320th sec at f14. Approx 4x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 25 - 31mm

This butterfly is very similar to the Brown Argus, but the two species differ significantly in their life cycles. Some populations have a white dot on the upper forewings.

It is sporadic in the mountains of C and S Europe, but is more widespread in northern Britain, Scandinavia and the Baltic states.

It can be found in forest clearings and glades, woodland margins and scrubby grassland, and dry, rocky mountain slopes up to 2000m.

There is one generation between June and September, depending on altitude and latitude.

Larvae feed on many species of Cranesbill (Geranium spp.).


24-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
20-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
28-Jun-2018 : Myers Allotment, Lancashire (1)
27-Jun-2018 : Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire (2)
27-Jun-2018 : Arnside Knott, Cumbria (9)
26-Jun-2018 : Latterbarrow, Cumbria (2)
05-Jul-2016 : Smardale Gill NNR, Cumbria (5)
03-Jul-2016 : Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire (1)
03-Jul-2016 : Arnside Knott, Cumbria (8+)
26-Jul-2015 : Baderitza, Bulgaria
26-Jul-2015 : Bansko meadows, Bulgaria