Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera)
Species

Male. Taken at Pewsey Downs, Wilts, on August 9th 2014.
(1/160th sec at f11. Approx 2.25x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male underside. Taken at Pewsey Downs, Wilts, on August 9th 2014.
(1/400th sec at f11. Approx 2.25x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female. Taken in the Alpilles, France, on April 30th 2013
(1/500th sec at f18. Approx 2.25x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female underside. Taken at Tophill Low, E. Yorks, on August 22nd 2010.
(1/400th sec at f11. Approx 2.75x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 44 - 52 mm

The Wall gets its name from its characteristic behaviour of resting with its wings two-thirds open on any bare surface. This basking behaviour enables the butterfly to increase its body temperature to a level which permits flight.

This butterfly is found in relatively small self-contained colonies. It was once found throughout England, Wales and Ireland, but over the last few decades it has suffered a severe decline. The reason(s) for this decline are not known.

It is now found primarily in coastal areas, especially in unimproved grassland, wasteland, cliff edges and hedgerows. In some areas it does manage to penetrate inland.

There are usually two broods each year. The first appears around the first week of May, peaking towards the end of the month. The second brood emerges in early August, and in some years there is a partial third brood which appears in early October at a few locations on the south coast of England. These timings are shifted by about two weeks in northern England and Scotland. The larva is the over-wintering stage.

The primary larval foodplants are various Bents, Cock's-foot, False Brome, Tor-grass, Wavy Hair-grass and Yorkshire-fog.

Adults are avid feeders, favouring Daisy, Fleabane, Hawkweeds, Knapweeds, Marjoram, Ragged Robin, Ragwort, Thistles, Water Mint and Yarrow.

Males are territorial and will inhabit a particular area, such as a path, hedgerow or roadside verge, waiting for passing females. Any intruding males are seen off. Females are much more sedentary.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.

Sightings

14-May-2019 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (19)

23-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
21-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
20-May-2018 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (15m,1f)

09-Jun-2017 : Paklenica National Park, Croatia
08-Jun-2017 : Paklenica National Park, Croatia
07-Jun-2017 : Starigrad, Croatia
07-Jun-2017 : Rovanjska, Croatia
28-May-2017 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (5m)
16-Aug-2015 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (1m,1f)
23-Jul-2015 : nr Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : Melnik, Bulgaria