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Wall Brown. Lasiommata megera (Linnaeus, 1767)

Diputación de Málaga

Wall Brown. Lasiommata megera (Linnaeus, 1767)

Wingspan: From 3.5 to 5 cm.

Routes where it can be observed

Code

Open wings: The forewings are orange with brown margins. On male butterflies inner part of the wings, there is a bold orange line which goes across the wing towards the apex (androconia), which does not exist in the case of female butterflies. There is a black eyespot in the centre. On the hindwings margins, a series of black eyespots with white centre and orange outline can be seen. There is a brown line above them, and, over it, a long orange spot which goes across the entire hindwing.

Closed wings: They are grey sprinkled with brown colour. On the forewing, there is one very small eyespot, which is occasionally missing, above the ocellus on the apex. The hindwing has a series of eyespots in similar size with concentric rings.

Similar species

Large Wall Brown: When it stretches the wings, there is a big eyespot on the forewing apex, a smaller one next to it, and one more close to the apex. Male butterflies' andocronia is thinner. On the hindwing, there is no long orange dot over the series of eyespots. When its wings are closed, they are silver grey. There is a series of eyespots, which are different in size, and have concentric rings.

Speckled Wood: It has sinuous wings margins. When it stretches the wings, there is more brown colour on them, so orange parts are reduced to spots. There is only one eyespot at the apex and it is smaller. On the hindwing, we can see an orange spot above a series of eyespots that goes across the middle of the wing up to the outer margin. When its wings are closed, there are various differences. Firstly, they are completely brown, without eyespots on the hindwing, which are reduced to small white spots.

Biology and Habitat

This species flies throughout the year, above all from March to July. There are three generations which are active at the same time, and their emergence period is long. Therefore, it is possible to spot recently emerged butterflies on nice winter days.

They are present in all types of habitats covered in plants, from lower areas and steep slopes to open woodland, scattered thickets and high mountains. They often exhibit hilltopping. Their caterpillars feed on varied grasses, such as the genera Aegilops, Stipa, Poa and Brachypodium.

Distribution in the Great Path

This one is probably the most common butterfly from the Nymphalidae family in the province. It can be found at all stages of the path, but it is rarer the case of coastal areas and in the north of the province, where it can be found at limited number of places.