Meadow Brown - Maniola jurtina


The Meadow Brown is one of our commonest and most widespread butterflies and a familiar sight across the British Isles during the summer months. This is a brown butterfly with an orange patch on each wing surrounding a black eye spot with a single white 'pupil'. The amount of orange on the forewings and the number of black spots found on the underside of the hind wings can vary.

Similar Species

Most commonly confused with the Gatekeeper, but they are easily distinguished by the eye spots. the Meadow Brown has a single 'pupil' whereas the Gatekeeper has two.

Identification difficulty

The butterfly can be found in almost any grassy habitat, especially grasslands where the sward is of a medium height, where populations can reach thousands. Even in heavily grazed meadows, the butterfly can usually be found around the field margins. Typical habitats include grassland, woodland rides, field margins, hedgerows, road verges and even overgrown gardens.

When to see it

June to September.

Life History

There is one generation each year and the flight period can be quite protracted with adults being seen from the middle of June to the end of September in most years. The larvae feed on a variety of grasses.

UK Status

This butterfly is our most-widely distributed species and can be found in nearly all parts of the British Isles.

VC55 Status

Common throughout Leicestershire & Rutland.

59.01 BF1626

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map