Species of the Month - July 2017


Aphantopus hyperantus

Aphantopus hyperantus

The Ringlet is on the wing from late June to early August.  Most sightings are in July.  It is not a common butterfly but can be numerous where it occurs.  It often flies in dull weather when other butterflies stay out of sight, but it will also fly in sunshine.

Ringlets are very active and difficult to get close to, but it can be done as the photo above by Caroline Anderson shows.

Aphantopus hyperantus   Aphantopus hyperantus

These photos by Judith Witts show a Ringlet visiting a Greater Butterfly Orchid, and a female Ringlet with wings open, which is the only time you can tell the sexes.  The male upperside is darker and has very inconspicuous spots.

Female Ringlets lay eggs on grass by dropping them from the air in flight.  The caterpillars feed on the grass and pupate in June the following year.

Aphantopus hyperantus, male   Aphantopus hyperantus, male   Aphantopus hyperantus, male

These are the only Ringlet photos I've ever managed myself.  They are of a male on bracken at Fearnoch, Taynuilt.

Aphantopus hyperantus

A somewhat closer view by Caroline.  This pattern of spots on the underside of the hindwing - often the only part of the butterfly that's showing when it's at rest - is diagnostic for the Ringlet.  Apart from the spots, the colouring of the wings is remarkably uniform.  Male Meadow Browns also have a fairly uniform brown upperside, with a single spot, but their underside is strongly bicoloured.


Please send in your Ringlet sightings using the form below, or email sightings@lnhg.org.uk with the details if you prefer.  If you are not sure of the identity of your butterfly, please send a photo to sightings@lnhg.org.uk, or put one on the LNHG Facebook page.

Date of sighting 
Grid reference 
Flowers visited  
Name of finder 
Your name (if different) 
Email (not needed if I already know it!) 
Any other details, e.g numbers, habitat,
 weather conditions, behaviour


By filling in this form you agree that the information contained in this form may be collated and disseminated manually or electronically for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses in accordance with the LNHG data access policy.  Your email address will not form part of the record and will not be passed on to anyone.

Carl Farmer
LNHG Biological Records Manager


Note you can still send in records for past species of the month.  Here are the previous July species:

Jul 2016 - Skullcap and Lesser Skullcap
Jul 2014 - Melancholy Thistle
Jul 2013 - Emerald Damselfly
Jul 2012 - Grayling
Jul 2011 - Golden-ringed Dragonfly

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Complete list of Species of the Month

This project is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage

All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated.  1st and 7th photos are Caroline Anderson.  2nd & 3rd photos are Judith Witts.  Mouse over photos to see credits.