The Speckled Wood Butterfly (Pararge aegeria) is a medium-sized insect in the Nymphalidae family of brush-footed butterflies. It is also known as the Enfield Eye Butterfly or the Wood Argus.
The Speckled Wood Butterfly varies in colour from brown to orange. It has pale yellow, white, cream, or tawny-orange spots and darker eyespots. It has white-edged wings. The female has brighter markings than the male. It has a brown furry body with six brown legs. It has club-shaped antennae.
Its wingspan measures about 5 centimetres (2 inches). The male is usually slightly smaller than the female.
It is found across Europe. It prefers woodlands, forests, and meadows. It can also be found in urban areas alongside hedges.
It is diurnal, active during the day.
The male is territorial and shoos away other butterflies from its territory.
The Speckled Wood Butterfly feeds on grass or honeydew. The adult butterfly has a long proboscis which it uses to suck up water. Unlike other Nymphalidae butterflies, it does not sip nectar from flowers.
The female lays eggs on grass. She lays about 500 eggs, which take 3-8 days to hatch. The eggs hatch into green caterpillars, which eat the grass. The caterpillars make a chrysalis, or pupa (like a cocoon), and the adult butterfly emerges after 8-15 days. This is called metamorphosis.
The adult Speckled Wood Butterfly lives for 2-5 weeks.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM