Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
Species

Male (ssp tircis). Taken at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon, on August 12th 2011.
(1/100th sec at f13. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female (ssp tircis). Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks on June 30th 2013.
(1/160th sec at f10. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Underside (ssp tircis). Taken at Parsonage Moor, Oxon, on September 18th 2010.
(1/320th sec at f13. Approx 3x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male (ssp insula). Taken on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, on April 20th 2011.
(1/125th sec at f14. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male (ssp aegeria). Taken near Tarifa, southern Spain, on September 11th 2010.
(1/50th sec at f13. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 40-45 mm

The Speckled Wood is a common butterfly. Its appearance changes from north to south, and the following subspecies are known: tircis is found in most of England, Wales, Ireland and central Europe. oblita is found in Scotland. insula is found on the Isles of Scilly. aegeria is found in southern and south-western Europe, and colonised Madeira in 1976. The further south the population, the more orange is found on the wings.

It is found throughout the British Isles except the south and extreme north of Scotland. It is widespread in western and central Europe, Turkey, N. Africa and Madeira.

Its habitat is deciduous, coniferous and mixed woodland, but it can be found anywhere there is sufficient scrub to provide the dappled shade that it favours. This includes gardens and hedgerows.

There are three broods in Britain: the end of April/beginning of May, the end of July, and the end of August into September. Both larvae and pupae over-winter, which makes the Speckled Wood unique among British butterflies.

The main larval foodplants are Cock's-foot, Common Couch, False Brome and Yorkshire-fog.

Adults feed primarily on honeydew or sap.

Males often bask on sunlit leaves or the woodland floor. They are very territorial.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.

Sightings

22-May-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3)
17-May-2018 : Sandford Brake, Oxon (5m)
13-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
11-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
09-May-2018 : Rodborough Common, Glos (2)
01-May-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (4m,1f)
26-Apr-2018 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (4m)
25-Apr-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (3)
22-Apr-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2m)

11-Oct-2017 : Holkham NNR, Norfolk (1)
10-Oct-2017 : Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk (1)
03-Oct-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
24-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
20-Sep-2017 : Radipole Lake, Dorset (2)
18-Sep-2017 : Lodmoor, Dorset (2)
13-Sep-2017 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (4)
12-Sep-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (3)
29-Aug-2017 : Lollingdon Hill, Oxon (3)
27-Aug-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (5)
26-Aug-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (4)
24-Aug-2017 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (2)
23-Aug-2017 : Lollingdon Hill, Oxon (3)
20-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (3)
16-Aug-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (7)
16-Aug-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (4)
15-Aug-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (2)
11-Aug-2017 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (6)
10-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
06-Aug-2017 : Cothill Fen, Oxon (1)
03-Aug-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
01-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (3)
29-Jul-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (3)
18-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (1)
02-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (1)
01-Jul-2017 : Waterperry Wood, Oxon (1)
24-Jun-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
18-Jun-2017 : Waterperry Wood, Oxon (1)
17-Jun-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2)
15-Jun-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (4)
14-Jun-2017 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs (4)
14-Jun-2017 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
03-Jun-2017 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
03-Jun-2017 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
30-May-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (6)
27-May-2017 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (1)
21-May-2017 : Abingdon, Oxon (1)
14-May-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos (1)
02-May-2017 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1m)
02-May-2017 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
29-Apr-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
22-Apr-2017 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (6m,1f)
13-Apr-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (4+m)
06-Apr-2017 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2m)
30-Mar-2017 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1m)

04-Nov-2016 : Huerta Grande, Spain (1)
03-Nov-2016 : Montejaque, Spain (2)
22-Sep-2016 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
22-Sep-2016 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)
11-Sep-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (11)
04-Sep-2016 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (6)
29-Aug-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (2)
28-Aug-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
28-Aug-2016 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
21-Aug-2016 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (2)
16-Aug-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
14-Aug-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (6+)
14-Aug-2016 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (4)
12-Aug-2016 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (7)
07-Aug-2016 : Cothill Fen, Oxon (1)
07-Aug-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
06-Aug-2016 : Fence Wood, Berks (2)
03-Aug-2016 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
31-Jul-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (4)
23-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
07-Jul-2016 : Fermyn Wood, Northants (10+)
05-Jul-2016 : Smardale Gill NNR, Cumbria (1)
04-Jul-2016 : Leighton Moss, Lancashire (1)
03-Jul-2016 : Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire (1)
02-Jul-2016 : Allithwaite Quarry, Cumbria (1)
30-Jun-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1m)
26-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
26-Jun-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
19-Jun-2016 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (7m)
07-Jun-2016 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
05-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (3m)
02-Jun-2016 : New Copse Inclosure, Hants (1)
02-Jun-2016 : Lymington-Keyhaven NR, Hants (1)
29-May-2016 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (3)
28-May-2016 : Wicken Wood, Bucks (4)
28-May-2016 : Ardley Quarry, Oxon (1)
28-May-2016 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (1)
27-May-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
15-May-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
14-May-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1m)
08-May-2016 : Whelford Pools, Glos (1)
20-Apr-2016 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (3m)
12-Apr-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)

01-Oct-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2)
27-Sep-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
19-Sep-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (4)
13-Sep-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (3m)
12-Sep-2015 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (7)
10-Sep-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (3)
07-Sep-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (10)
06-Sep-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
30-Aug-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (5)
29-Aug-2015 : Lardon Chase, Berks (4)
22-Aug-2015 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
22-Aug-2015 : Yeosden Bank, Bucks (2)
21-Aug-2015 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (8)
06-Aug-2015 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (4)
02-Aug-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
21-Jul-2015 : nr Petrovo, Bulgaria
18-Jul-2015 : Silchester Common, Hants (1)
11-Jul-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
11-Jul-2015 : The Holies, Berks (1)
03-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
03-Jul-2015 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
21-Jun-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (6)
21-Jun-2015 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (3)
18-Jun-2015 : Haddon Hill, Somerset (7)
18-Jun-2015 : Haddon Moor, Somerset (2)
16-Jun-2015 : Heddon Valley, Devon (2)
16-Jun-2015 : Watersmeet, Devon (3)
11-Jun-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
07-Jun-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
06-Jun-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
04-Jun-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2)
01-Jun-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
28-May-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
21-May-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
10-May-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
30-Apr-2015 : Stoborough Heath NNR, Dorset (2)
28-Apr-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
27-Apr-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
27-Apr-2015 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
25-Apr-2015 : Ardley Quarry, Oxon (3)
23-Apr-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (3)
21-Apr-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)

05-Oct-2014 : Chimney Meadows, Oxon (1)
21-Sep-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
17-Sep-2014 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
13-Sep-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
04-Sep-2014 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (6+)
31-Aug-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
28-Aug-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (13)
24-Aug-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
24-Aug-2014 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (4)
20-Aug-2014 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (5)
17-Aug-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
16-Aug-2014 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (5)
09-Aug-2014 : Sole Common Pond, Berks (1)
09-Aug-2014 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (3)
03-Aug-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
31-Jul-2014 : Myers Allotment, Lancashire (1)
31-Jul-2014 : Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire (7)
30-Jul-2014 : Arnside Knott, Cumbria (2)
20-Jul-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
12-Jul-2014 : Watlington Hill, Oxon (2)
10-Jul-2014 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)
30-Jun-2014 : Tophill Low, E. Yorks (1)
30-Jun-2014 : Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit, E. Yorks (1)
28-Jun-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
24-Jun-2014 : Mesta River fishponds, Bulgaria
16-Jun-2014 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs (3)
15-Jun-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (3)
15-Jun-2014 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (5)
14-Jun-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
10-Jun-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
08-Jun-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
08-Jun-2014 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (2)
07-Jun-2014 : Stanford Dingley, Berks (1)
31-May-2014 : Wicken Wood, Bucks (2)
31-May-2014 : Salden railway cutting (2)
25-May-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (4)
25-May-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
24-May-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
17-May-2014 : Bentley Wood, Wilts (3)
17-May-2014 : Stockbridge Down, Hants (1)
12-May-2014 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
21-Apr-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
21-Apr-2014 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (8)
17-Apr-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (2)
13-Apr-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)