The Grayling (Hipparchia semele) is a common insect in the Nympalidae family of brush-footed butterflies. It is also known as the Rock Grayling.
The Grayling is tan, brown, and white, and is well camouflaged on tree bark or rocks. It upperside is tan with copper, and edged in white, with several eyespots. Its underside is very dark-brown with eyespots. Its body is brown.
It measures 4-5 centimetres (2 inches).
The Grayling is found all over Europe, southern Russia, and the Caucasus. It prefers coastal areas, but is also found inland. It likes warm, dry habitats. It migrates south in small groups of two or three butterflies. Males are territorial.
The caterpillar eats leaves, and the adult butterfly sips nectar from flowers.
Adults lay eggs on the leaves of plants in June. The eggs hatch into larvae (caterpillars). The larvae pupate by spinning a casing, called a chrysalis, in the ground. The adult butterfly emerges in August.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM