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Butterfly taxonomy (classification) The skippers The swallowtails The whites The hairstreaks, coppers and blues. Includes the Duke of Burgundy. The nymphalids, fritillaries and browns. Includes the Monarch.
Meadow Brown female - Cissbury Ring, Sussex 1-Aug-2014
Wingspan
Male: 40 - 55mm
Female: 42 - 60mm
Photo © Neil Hulme
Meadow Brown

Maniola jurtina
man-ee-OH-luh
jur-TY-nuh
Number: 59.010
B&F No.: 1626
Family:Nymphalidae (Swainson, 1827)
Subfamily:Satyrinae (Boisduval, 1833)
Tribe:Maniolini (Grote, 1897)
Genus:Maniola (Schrank, 1801)
Subgenus: 
Species:jurtina (Linnaeus, 1758)
Subspecies:insularis (Thomson, 1969)
 splendida (White, 1871)
 iernes (Graves, 1930)
 cassiteridum (Graves, 1930)
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  Introduction  

The Meadow Brown is one of our commonest and most widespread butterflies, and a familiar sight throughout the summer months. This species can be found in all parts of the British Isles, with the exception of the most mountainous regions and Shetland. This is a highly variable species with four named subspecies found in the British Isles, although the differences between them are often subtle.

Maniola jurtina ssp. jurtina

The species was first defined in Linnaeus (1758) as shown here (type locality: Europe, Africa). The nominate subspecies has not been recorded in the British Isles.

Maniola jurtina ssp. insularis

This subspecies was first defined in Thomson (1969) as shown here and as shown in this plate (type locality: Isle of Wight, England). This subspecies is found throughout England, Wales and Scotland south east of a line between Ayrshire in the south west and Moray in the north east.

Maniola jurtina ssp. insularis (Thomson, 1969)

Male: Upperside, mummy brown to sepia sometimes reaching an Erebia-like colouring when freshly emerged. In such cases the androconial brand is wholly or partly obscured. Over all of the wings is an iridescence (sometimes bluish, sometimes greenish) which is more pronounced than in Scandinavia or Central European forms, but somewhat less than in splendida. This iridescence is most strongly developed on the costal margin, on the androconial brand and on the basal area of the hindwings. The apical eyespot is well developed, usually with a very white pupil, larger than in typical jurtina - not often bipupilled, and hardly ever not pupilled - set in a well marked ring of bright fulvous. The sub-marginal band is usually quite well formed, but less so than in iernes.

Underside. Forewing basal half almost always of a darker colour than the sub-apical band (in 98.96% of specimens examined), often taking on a dark rust or raw sienna tone, and in 93.27% of specimens the two shades were further divided by a well-marked line of darker colouring than either of the two parts. Only 6.73% of Swedish males had this line. The hindwings are very variable but the light medial band is less well marked than in iernes. However, this is frequently well defined and the darker areas sometimes take on a reddish shade. Spots on the band vary from 0-6, usually two.

Female: Upperside. Ground colour mummy brown to sepia - hardly ever blackish. The fulvous below the apical eyespot (which is not infrequently bipupilled) is very variable in size but is usually fairly extensive, sometimes broken by the nervures, and often appearing on the hindwings. In this respect insularis is less bright than the other British races. The fulvous on the forewing often invades the central area, usually separated by scales of the ground colour as in iernes, but sometimes without such separation, as in splendida. The fulvous is of a darker (more red) colour than Swedish jurtina or French phormia occasionally reaching a colour similar to that of typical splendida.

Underside. Discal area of a darker colour than the sub-marginal band - often strikingly so, and with a dividing transverse line of a much darker colour than either, approximately similar to that of the upperside ground colour. The hindwings have a well marked band, somewhat yellowish usually but can tend towards greyish as in hispulla. The general appearance of the underside is of contrast to a degree rarely found in Swedish jurtina. A long series looks quite different from the typical sub-species.

insularis thus belongs to the same group of sub-species as cassiteridum, iernes and (perhaps) splendida which are characterised by the high degree of contrast reached on the underside of the forewings and, to a lesser extent, on the hindwings, also by the strongly developed transverse line on both sexes. It differs from cassiteridum in the lack of strong hispulla-form characters in the apical eyespot and the underside hindwing of the female, from iernes in its smaller size, less gynaikoptropic form of the male and more variable nature of the fulvous markings and from splendida in the less dark underside forewing of the male and the more yellow hindwing of the female. A feature of insularis is its heterogeneous nature, which ranges from close to (but distinct from) jurtina in Hertfordshire and some of the Midland counties, to an approach to cassiteridum in west Cornwall, splendida in central and north-west Scotland and iernes in any but mainly maritime localities throughout its range. It is one of the most variable races of jurtina (similar in this respect to phormia, to which it might be closely related) with the forms addenda Mousley, erymanthoides Strand, fracta Zweigelt and antiparvipuncta Leeds being not uncommon. Among the rarer forms which I have taken is anommata Vrty.

Size: Average expanse - ♂♂ 48.00 mm. ♀♀ 53.00 mm., not as variable as typical jurtina or phormia.

Locality: Described from 230 ♂♂ and 280 ♀♀ from England, Wales, South Scotland and Central Scotland (mainly from Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Cornwall, Dorset, North Wales, Berwickshire and Stirlingshire). Individual specimens from Hertfordshire and the south Midlands are hard to distinguish from Swedish jurtina except by its larger size, but these are not common.

Types: ♂ Isle of Wight. ♀ allotype Isle of Wight together with paratypes in my own collection.


Meadow Brown male - Solihull West Midlands 27.07.2014
Male
Photo © nfreem
Meadow Brown Male - Crawley, Sussex 11-June-07
Male Underside
Photo © Vince Massimo
Female Meadow Brown - Fleam Dyke, Cambs 15-7-12
Female
Photo © dilettante
Meadow Brown Female - Crawley, Sussex 28-June-05
Female Underside
Photo © Vince Massimo

Maniola jurtina ssp. splendida

This subspecies was first defined in White (1871) as shown here (type locality: Longa Island, Ross-Shire, Scotland). This subspecies is found in Scotland north west of a line between the Clyde Isles in the south west and Orkney in the north east. According to Chalmers-Hunt (1970) it is also found on the Isle of Man. The minimal description provided in White (1871) is elaborated in Graves (1930a) whose re-description is subsequently questioned in Thomson (1969) and Thomson (1970a). Thomson (1970a) provides the most recent analysis of this subspecies, suggesting that there is significant variation between the various populations of splendida and that the characteristics described by Graves do not always apply. Thomson (1970a) considers the following features to be those that distinguish splendida from insularis. Key distinguishing feature(s), taken from Dennis (1977), are highlighted.

1. Male forewing upperside. Fulvous areas more extensive on average than in insularis of south Britain.

2. Male underside. Darker than insularis and often suffused by dark scaling, but a form also occurs which displays a fair degree of contrast in the markings.

3. Male forewing underside. Outer margins, termen and medial transverse band (dividing the lighter sub-apical and basal areas) considerably darker than the southern form.

4. Female upperside. Fulvous areas extensive but very variable in extent, colour and form.

5. Female hindwing underside. Very variable nearly always with the medial line distally bordered with a streak of bright yellow or orange.

Maniola jurtina ssp. splendida (White, 1871)

Larger and brighter coloured; the apical spot of the front wing with two white dots. Found by Mr. A. Davidson in the island of Longa, on the west coast of Ross-shire. Mr. Davidson informs me that it is very plentiful in the island, and that it is the only form occurring there. Occasionally in Aberdeenshire (J. W. H. Traill). I have taken this variety in the island of Capri near Naples.

Thomson (1970a) Redefinition

The only consistent traits which can be given to identify splendida forms are:

Male. Fulvous on the upperside of the forewings more extensive on average than in insularis of south Britain. Underside darker than insularis often suffused by dark scaling, but a form also occurs which displays a fair degree of contrast in markings. Both these forms, however, almost always have the colour of the underside forewings outer margins, termen and medial transverse band (dividing the lighter sub-apical and basal areas) considerably darker than in the southern form.

Female. Fulvous areas extensive but very variable in extent, colour and form. Underside hindwings very variable nearly always with the medial line distally bordered with a streak of bright yellow or orange. These are the only consistent characters and could be applied to south European forms, hispulla, miscens) but the ground colour of British jurtina females is considerably darker in tone as is the colour of the fulvous on average.

To summarise, therefore :

1. Splendida is not a simple race but a heterogeneous collection of local populations each having been isolated long enough to produce measurably distinct characteristics but all being linked by characters typical of the whole.

2. Splendida is linked to the southern race insularis by an area of transition in which both intermediates and individuals of the two races are found flying together in greater or lesser proportions.

3. Splendida is probably not a direct result of environmental conditions only but probably has arisen as a result of selection within the strictly isolated populations.


Meadow Brown ssp. splendida - male - Ardnamurchan Point, Scotland - 17-Jul-14-2
Male
Photo © Pete Eeles
Male Underside
Meadow Brown ssp. splendida - female - Ardnamurchan Point, Scotland - 17-Jul-14-5
Female
Photo © Pete Eeles
Meadow Brown - imago - Ardnamurchan - Unknown date [Adrian Riley]
Female Underside
Photo © Adrian Riley

Maniola jurtina ssp. iernes

This subspecies was first defined in Graves (1930a) (type locality: County Kerry, Ireland). This subspecies represents the population found in Ireland. This is the largest of the subspecies found in the British Isles and differs from the subspecies insularis as follows. This summary has been derived from Thomson (1969) and the key distinguishing feature(s), taken from Dennis (1977), highlighted:

1. Male forewing upperside has a well-defined orange band in which the eye spot sometimes has two pupils, or there are two separate eye spots.

2. Male forewing underside with an orange area that is divided into a lighter outer part and darker inner part, separated by a well-marked dark line.

3. Male and female hindwing underside with a contrasting medial band, and with tiny or absent spots.

4. Female forewing upperside with the orange band extending into the central part of the wing.

5. Female hindwing upperside usually with an orange patch.

Maniola jurtina ssp. iernes (Graves, 1930)

Male: Average expanse 51.9 mm.; largest 57.5 mm., smallest 46 mm.

Upperside. Ground-colour "mummy brown" to "sepia", with blue-green iridescence along the costal margin and traces of violet iridescence on the hind wings. Ocelli frequently bipupilled or doubled, set in well-marked fulvous rings. A fairly well-defined and usually regular submarginal band of "orange" or "ochraceous-orange" scaling in interspaces 4, 3, 2 and at times in 1b, broken by the dark venation in all cases, and in approximately half those examined partially veiled with dark scaling (cf. ♂♂ of ssp. hispulla).

Underside. Discal area of fore wings "ochraceous buff" to "ochraceous orange" with a mixture, less noticeable than in ssp. splendida, of dark scales. Apical area and termen of the same ground-colour as the hind wing, the basal edge of the termen darkened in 2 and 3. Transverse line often more strongly marked than in English and Swedish jurtina. Hind wings with the lighter band and dark medial line more strongly marked than in average English and Swedish and North German jurtina, so that the underside somewhat resembles that of ♀♀ of the typical subspecies. Ground-colour of various shades of olive grey, ranging from "citrine-drab" to "greyish-olive" in the basal portion and from "light greyish olive" to "deep olive buff" on the band. Submarginal ocelli minute or absent. The whole wing powdered, sometimes greatly darkened, with small blackish striae.

Female: Average expanse 55.6 mm.; largest 62 mm., smallest 50 mm.

Upperside. Ground-colour "mummy brown" to "sepia." Band of fore wings broad, well defined, the transverse dark border being particularly well marked, "orange", less frequently "ochraceous orange," broken by the dark venation. Discoidal area sometimes with, sometimes without "orange" or "ochraceous orange" scaling, which scarcely ever breaks through the transverse line bordering the band basally, as it does in ssp. splendida and in some English jurtina. Hind wing unicolorous or with an "ochraceous orange" point; an orange band or beginning of a band more or less suffused by dark scaling, occupying two or more than two interspaces in more than half the specimens examined. Subapical ocelli usually very large and often bipupilled.

Underside. Discal area of fore wings usually approximating to "Mars yellow" in its darker basal portion, outwardly nearer "raw sienna," though the uneven mixture of dark scaling generally and of pale scaling near the apex makes it difficult to describe the colour accurately. Costa and broad termen of the same ground-colour as the hind wings, save near the tornus, where it is "raw umber" or "Brussels brown" mixed with black scales. The inner marginal area mostly black. The transverse line usually very strongly marked. Hind wings washed with "orange" or "ochraceous" orange, giving a very bright effect. The darker area basewards of the medial line "buckthorn brown" to "old gold", the medial line varying from "hazel" to "burnt sienna", the discal band broad, near "old gold." Submarginal area of the same general colour as the basal area. The whole wing fairly uniformly marked with blackish striae.

Locality: Described from a long series in my collection from Kerry, Irish Free State, mostly taken in the baronies of South Dunkerron, Magunihy and Iveragh. The jurtina of Sligo and S. Mayo (Connaught), Cork and Waterford (Munster), and Donegal, Derry, Tyrone and Monaghan (Ulster) certainly correspond in essentials of facies with the Kerry jurtina iernes.

Type: ♂ in my collection, allotype ♀ in my collection. Paratypes in my collection and in B.M. Collection. The description is based upon the examination of 115 ♂♂ and 141 ♀♀ from Kerry, taken in July and August, 1928 and 1929.

... To sum up, iernes differs from Swedish and English jurtina in its larger size and brighter and more variegated underside, in the gynaikotropism of the ♂, and the frequent exhibition of hispulla-like characteristics in the ♀. Among these characteristics I am disposed to reckon the more frequent bipupillation of the apical ocellus and the more frequent extension of that ocellus to vein 4. The fore wings also appear to me to be less acuminate than in typical jurtina, and the hind wings more deeply scalloped.


Meadow Brown - male - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13
Male
Photo © Pete Eeles
Meadow Brown - male - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-34
Male Underside
Photo © Pete Eeles
Meadow Brown - female - North Bull Island, Dublin - 09-Aug-13-24
Female
Photo © Pete Eeles
Meadow Brown - female - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-28
Female Underside
Photo © Pete Eeles

Maniola jurtina ssp. cassiteridum

This subspecies was first defined in Graves (1930a) (type locality: Isles of Scilly, England). This subspecies is found in the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of West Cornwall. This subspecies differs from the subspecies insularis as follows. This summary has been derived from Thomson (1969) and the key distinguishing feature(s), taken from Dennis (1977), highlighted:

1. Male forewing upperside has a well-defined orange band in which the eye spot sometimes has two pupils, or there are two separate eye spots.

2. Male forewing underside more unicolorous orange, but with inner and outer areas separated with a distinct line.

3. Male hindwing underside with a more pronounced medial band, but less so than ssp. iernes. Prominent flecks across the wing and with well-developed eye spots that are often ringed with orange and with white pupils.

4. Female forewing upperside with the orange band extending into the central part of the wing.

5. Female forewing underside has more contrast between the darker inner and lighter outer orange areas, which are separated by a brown line.

6. Female hindwing underside heavily flecked with dark brown and is more variegated than any other subspecies, with a greyish buff rather than a yellowish or orange wash. The medial band is often very light in colour and has an irregular outer edge.

Maniola jurtina ssp. cassiteridum (Graves, 1930)

Male: Average expanse 49.22 mm. in the short series measured. Certainly smaller than iernes.

Upperside as in iernes.

Underside. Fore wings of a more uniform ground-colour than iernes with less heavily marked transverse bands, the apical area and termen more heavily striated. Hind wings of various shades of olive with more numerous and heavy striae than in iernes, the medial line less strongly marked than in Irish, but more so than in English or Swedish specimens. The distal portion of the wing sometimes showing traces of a paler band as in the female. Ocelli in interspaces 2 and 5, but sometimes more numerous. Those in 2 and 5, though small, are much more conspicuous than is the case with normal Swedish and English jurtina, being ringed with bright yellow and strongly-pupilled with white.

Female: Average expanse of 23 specimens measured 53.15 mm.

Upperside as in iernes, but the hispulla-like bands of the hind wings when present are clearer and better defined than in Irish specimens.

Underside. Fore wing with less pronounced transverse bands and less dark scaling mixed with the ground-colour, and on the termen near the tornus and in the inner marginal area, than in ssp. iernes. The "light brownish olive" (pl. xxx) or "ecru-olive" of the apical area and termen marked with numerous striae. Hind wing usually lighter and more variegated than in ssp. iernes with a buff rather than an orange or orange-yellow wash, the medial line less pronounced than in ssp. iernes, but more so than in nomino-typical and normal English jurtina, the band wide, pale, often "chamois" or "cream buff" (loc. cit.), frequently invading the darker submarginal area irregularly. The whole wing marked with very numerous coarse dark striae of large size, and having in consequence of this and of the ground-colour a "grained" and mottled appearance that is very characteristic.

Locality: The Scilly Isles. Occasional individuals with numerous transitional specimens (ssp. cassiteridum trans ad. jurtina) and normal jurtina occur together in West Cornwall, e. g. at Mullion, Lizard Pen.

Types: Male and allotype female in the British Museum. Paratypes of both sexes in British, Oxford (Hope Coll.) and Tring Museums.

The smaller size, remarkable underside (with its heavy striation in both sexes) and the distinct ocelli on the underside of the hind wing in the male distinguish this subspecies from iernes. In Mr. B.W. Adkin's series there are only three female specimens in which there is no fulvous in the post-discal band of the upperside of the hind wing, but he assures me that these are frequent enough. There is a male ab. feminea in the British Museum, and Mr. Adkin has a male from the Scilly Isles with a patch of fulvous in the post-discal band of each hind wing.


Male
Male Underside
Female
Meadow Brown - imago - St Marys, Isles of Scilly - Unknown date [Adrian Riley]
Female Underside
Photo © Adrian Riley

  Phenology  

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.

Maniola jurtina ssp. insularis


Maniola jurtina ssp. splendida


Maniola jurtina ssp. iernes


Maniola jurtina ssp. cassiteridum


The chart(s) above have been correlated with the phenology plot below, taken from the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. The blue line gives average counts over the full data set from 1976 to date, and the red line gives the average for the last year.


  Habitat  

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.

  Larval Foodplants  

The primary larval foodplants are Bents (various) (Agrostis spp.), Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), Downy Oat-grass (Helictotrichon pubescens), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), Fescues (various) (Festuca spp.) and Meadow-grasses (various) (Poa spp.).

  Nectar Sources  

Adults feed primarily on Bramble (Rubus fruticosus), Buttercups (Ranunculus spp.), Carline Thistle (Carlina vulgaris), Devil's-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis), Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica), Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum), Knapweeds (Centaurea spp.), Marjoram (Origanum vulgare), Privet (Ligustrum vulgare), Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris), Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum), Thistles (Cirsium spp. and Carduus spp.) and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

  Imago  

The male is the most active of the two sexes and finds a mate either by patrolling, or by investigating any butterfly that flies past his perch. Females, on the other hand, are normally only active when nectaring or egg-laying and spend most of their time resting near the ground. Here they sit camouflaged, with wings closed and forewings tucked beneath the hindwings. When disturbed, they raise their forewings to reveal a large eye spot that must appear somewhat threatening to any predator.

Both sexes typically roost on low vegetation, within tall grass clumps, but may also use bushes, trees and hedges. Early morning is a good time to see this species, as it sits with its wings outstretched, warming up in the early morning sun. Once warmed up the adults take to the wing and will even fly in dull weather, including light drizzle, so long as the temperature is sufficiently high. Both sexes are avid nectar feeders, and use a variety of nectar sources, especially Knapweed, Thistle and Bramble.

Courtship between male and female is brief. The male showers the female with scent scales from his sex brands which act as an aphrodisiac that seduces the female and mating quickly follows. After a couple of days the female starts to lay her batch of several hundred eggs. For some unexplained reason, this species occasionally pairs with other species, such as the Gatekeeper, although no offspring result.

Maniola jurtina ssp. insularis


Maniola jurtina mating pair, Steward's Copse, Arundel, Sussex 31-July-07
Photo © m_galathea
Meadow Brown Pair - Chaldon, Surrey 5-Sept-09
Photo © Vince Massimo
05-Sep-2009
Meadow Brown Female - Crawley, Sussex 28-June-05
Photo © Vince Massimo
28-Jun-2005
Meadow Brown Female - Botany Bay/Oaken Wood, Sussex 16-July-09
Photo © Vince Massimo
16-Jul-2009
Meadow Brown Male - Crawley, Sussex 8-June-07
Photo © Vince Massimo
08-Jun-2007
Meadow Brown Male - Crawley, Sussex 11-June-07
Photo © Vince Massimo
11-Jun-2007
Meadow Brown, male. 2/6/2012 Friston Forest.
Photo © badgerbob
18-Jun-2012
Meadow Brown, male. 2/6/2012 Friston Forest.
Photo © badgerbob
18-Jun-2012
Meadow Brown Male - Chaldon, Surrey 18-June-10
Photo © Vince Massimo
18-Jun-2010
Meadow Brown female - Shadowbrook Meadows Solihul 19.08.2012
Photo © nfreem
19-Aug-2012
Meadow Brown - July 21st 2012 - Aston Rowant
Photo © Nigel Kiteley
21-Jul-2012
Meadow Brown, Southwater Woods, 12 June 2009
Photo © Neil Hulme
12-Jun-2009
Meadow Brown - Farley Mount - 13-7-08
Photo © Gwenhwyfar
13-Jul-2008
Mating Meadow Brown & Ringlet Smardale Gill 13.7.09 Sandra Standbridge
Photo © sandraandkevin
Mating with Ringlet
Meadow Brown
Photo © Charlotte Brett
Meadow Brown - Shipton Bellinger - 7 Aug 2010
Photo © Clive
07-Aug-2010
Meadow Brown, Southwater Wood meadows, Sussex 21-June-2012
Photo © Neil Hulme
21-Jun-2012
Meadow Brown Female - Woldingham, Surrey 3-July-10
Photo © Vince Massimo
03-Jul-2010
Meadow Brown - Larkhill 24-07-2013
Photo © Wurzel
24-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown female -Shadowbrook Meadows Solihull 11.08.2012
Photo © nfreem
11-Aug-2012
Meadow Brown male - Babbs Mill West Midlands 23.06.2012
Photo © nfreem
23-Jun-2012
Meadow Brown male upperside - Babbs Mill- 23/06/12
Photo © Gothic_dreams
23-Jun-2012
Meadow Brown, female. 1/7/2012. High and Over, Seaford, E.Sussex.
Photo © badgerbob
30-Jun-2012
Female Meadow Brown - Fleam Dyke, Cambs 15-7-12
Photo © dilettante
15-Jul-2012
Female Meadow Brown - Straits Enclosure - 15 July 2012
Photo © Wurzel
Meadow Brown female - Oversley Wood Warwickshire  21.07.2012
Photo © nfreem
21-Jul-2012
Meadow Brown female - Shadowbrook Meadows Solihull 19.08.2012
Photo © nfreem
19-Aug-2012
Meadow Brown male,Sylvia's Meadow, Cornwall. 4 July 2012.
Photo © essexbuzzard
04-Jul-2012
Meadow Brown female - Woldingham, Surrey 8-August 2012
Photo © Vince Massimo
08-Aug-2012
Meadow Brown male - Southwater, Sussex 14-June-2011
Photo © Neil Hulme
14-Jun-2011
Female Small Tortoiseshell and Male Meadow Brown pairing - Brentwood, Essex 14-July-2013
Photo © Essex Bertie
14-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown female, Alun Valley, Glamorgan 16.07.13
Photo © David M
16-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown, Liphook, 19/07/2013
Photo © Pauline
19-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown, Female, Oxenbourne, 27/07/2013
Photo © Pauline
27-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown (f)  Stanwell Moor Middlesex 27th July 2013
Photo © millerd
27-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown pair - Aston Rowant 20.08.2013
Photo © Nigel Kiteley
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - Female - West Somerset - 13/07/13
Photo © William
13-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper Mixed Pairing - West Somerset - 06/08/13
Photo © William
06-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown male - Bickenhill, Solihull, West Midlands 21.06.2014
Photo © nfreem
21-Jun-2014
Meadow Brown (Male) Pairing with Small Tortoiseshell (female) - Collard Hill - Somerset - 23/06/14
Photo © William
23-Jun-2014
Meadow Brown - male - St. Abbs Head  - 30-Jun-14
Photo © Pete Eeles
30-Jun-2014
Meadow Brown mating. 27/6/2014. Southwater Woods. West Sussex.
Photo © badgerbob
27-Jun-2014
Meadow Brown male - Solihull West Midlands 27.07.2014
Photo © nfreem
27-Jul-2014
Meadow Brown female - Cissbury Ring, Sussex 1-Aug-2014
Photo © Neil Hulme
01-Aug-2014

Maniola jurtina ssp. splendida


Meadow Brown - imago - Ardnamurchan - Unknown date [Adrian Riley]
Photo © Adrian Riley
Meadow Brown ssp. splendida - female - Ardnamurchan Point, Scotland - 17-Jul-14-4
Photo © Pete Eeles
17-Jul-2014
Meadow Brown ssp. splendida - female - Ardnamurchan Point, Scotland - 17-Jul-14-5
Photo © Pete Eeles
17-Jul-2014
Meadow Brown ssp. splendida - female - Ardnamurchan Point, Scotland - 17-Jul-14-6
Photo © Pete Eeles
17-Jul-2014
Meadow Brown ssp. splendida - female - Ardnamurchan Point, Scotland - 17-Jul-14
Photo © Pete Eeles
17-Jul-2014
Meadow Brown ssp. splendida - male - Ardnamurchan Point, Scotland - 17-Jul-14-2
Photo © Pete Eeles
17-Jul-2014
Meadow Brown ssp. splendida - male - Ardnamurchan Point, Scotland - 17-Jul-14
Photo © Pete Eeles
17-Jul-2014

Maniola jurtina ssp. iernes


Meadow Brown - Female Upperside  09/07/2007, Mountstewart, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Photo © Dave McCormick
09-Jul-2007
Meadow Brown - Male Underside 04/07/2008, Mountstewart, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Photo © Dave McCormick
04-Jul-2008
Meadow Brown - Mating Pair  14/06/2007, Mountstewart, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Photo © Dave McCormick
14-Jun-2007
Meadow Brown - Male Upperside 15/07/2008, Mountstewart, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Photo © Dave McCormick
15-Jul-2008
Meadow Brown - Female Upperside 12/07/2009, Hogstown Bog, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Photo © Dave McCormick
12-Jul-2009
Meadow Brown - imago - Craggagh, Clare - Unknown date [Adrian Riley]
Photo © Adrian Riley
Meadow Brown - female - Boston, Clare - 10-Aug-13
Photo © Pete Eeles
10-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - North Bull Island, Dublin - 09-Aug-13
Photo © Pete Eeles
09-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - North Bull Island, Dublin - 09-Aug-13-22
Photo © Pete Eeles
09-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - North Bull Island, Dublin - 09-Aug-13-23
Photo © Pete Eeles
09-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - North Bull Island, Dublin - 09-Aug-13-24
Photo © Pete Eeles
09-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - North Bull Island, Dublin - 09-Aug-13-34
Photo © Pete Eeles
09-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - male - North Bull Island, Dublin - 09-Aug-13-14
Photo © Pete Eeles
09-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - male - North Bull Island, Dublin - 09-Aug-13-16
Photo © Pete Eeles
09-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - male - North Bull Island, Dublin - 09-Aug-13-26
Photo © Pete Eeles
09-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-17
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-21
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-25
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-28
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - female - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-29
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - imago - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - male - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - male - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-27
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - male - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-31
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - male - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-33
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - male - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-34
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown - male - Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, County Wexford, Ireland - 20-Aug-13-37
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Aug-2013

Maniola jurtina ssp. cassiteridum


Meadow Brown - imago - St Marys, Isles of Scilly - Unknown date [Adrian Riley]
Photo © Adrian Riley

  Aberrations  

Description to be completed.

Unclassified Aberrations


Meadow Brown male (ab.) 03/06/2007, Mountstewart, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Photo © Dave McCormick
03-Jun-2007
Meadow Brown Female (ab. alba) - Steyning, Sussex 17-Aug-09
Photo © Vince Massimo
17-Aug-2009
Meadow Brown - aberration - Bannerdown - 02-Aug-05 (2) [Graham Smith]
Photo © Graham Smith
Meadow Brown - aberration - Bannerdown - 02-Aug-05 [Graham Smith]
Photo © Graham Smith
Meadow Brown - aberration - nr Bathampton - 09-Aug-06 [Simon Crampin]
Photo © Simon Crampin
Meadow Brown - aberration - Unknown location - 27-Jun-07 [Mike Eccles]
Photo © Mike Eccles
Meadow Brown (m) ssp insularis ab anommata (Verity 1904) 100dpi W Green Wood 080729 9247 [David Newland]
Photo © David Newland
29-Jul-2008
Meadow Brown Female (Variant) - Chaldon, Surrey 29-June-10
Photo © Vince Massimo
29-Jun-2010
Female Meadow Brown with double eyespot July 5th 2010 Cow Lane Godmanchester, Cambs
Photo © Charles Nicol
Meadow Brown pale female -Ryton Wood 14.07.2012
Photo © nfreem
14-Jul-2012
Meadow Brown female (variant) - Woldingham, Surrey 8-August-2012
Photo © Vince Massimo
08-Aug-2012
Meadow Brown female (ab. cinerea) -  Washington Pits, Sussex 30-Aug-2012
Photo © Neil Hulme
30-Aug-2012
Meadow Brown - imago - Lullington Heath, East Sussex - 09-Sep-2007 [Peter Farrant]
Photo © Peter Farrant
Meadow Brown ab. - Epping Forest, Essex 14-July-2013
Photo © Essex Bertie
14-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown ab. Tylers Common, Essex. 20-07-2013
Photo © Essex Bertie
20-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown ab. North Wilts Downs 26-July-2013. Butterfly 2
Photo © nomad
26-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown ab. North Wilts Downs 26-July-2013. Butterfly 1
Photo © nomad
Meadow Brown ab. North Wilts Downs 26-July-2013. Butterfly 1
Photo © nomad
Meadow Brown ab. North Wilts Downs 26-July-2013. Butterfly 2 feeding at sawort
Photo © nomad
Meadow Brown ab. North Wilts Downs 26-July-2013. Butterfly 2
Photo © nomad
Meadow Brown ab. North Wilts Downs 26-July-2013. Butterfly 2
Photo © nomad
Meadow Brown ab. cinerea  - Lytham, Lancs  July 2013
Photo © James R Hutchinson
23-Jun-2013
Meadow Brown male ab. - Lancing, Sussex August 2013 [Jessica Aidley]
Photo © Jessica Aidley
Meadow Brown (m) (ab.pallidus) 16.8.10  East Sussex. Downland boy
Photo © downland boy
16-Aug-2010
Meadow Brown, aberration pallidus. Shipton Bellinger. 11/8/13.
Photo © False Apollo
Meadow Brown Female - Pale Form - Somerset - 30/07/12
Photo © William
30-Jul-2012
Meadow Brown, female, Southsea, 25/06/2014 - double spotted, white wing
Photo © Pauline
25-Jun-2014
Alvescot, west Oxfordshire - 11-Jul-14 [Chris Carter]
Photo © Chris Carter
Meadow Brown, very pale female - Solihull West Midlands 20.07.2014
Photo © nfreem
20-Jul-2014
Meadow Brown, albino form. Tilletts Lane fields, Warnham, W. Sussex 30/06/2014 [Dave Potter and Martin Peacock]
Photo © Dave Potter and Martin Peacock
Meadow Brown - Larkhill - 22-07-2014
Photo © Wurzel
Meadow Brown - aberration - Ballard Down, Swanage, Dorset - 07-Aug-14 [Derek Haynes]
Photo © Derek Haynes
Meadow Brown - aberration - Ballard Down, Swanage, Dorset - 07-Aug-14-3 [Derek Haynes]
Photo © Derek Haynes
Meadow Brown, male, 28/08/2014, Old Winchester Hill
Photo © Pauline
28-Aug-2014
Meadow Brown, male, 28/08/2014, Old Winchester Hill
Photo © Pauline
28-Aug-2014

  Ovum  

The spherical eggs are light brown with dark brown blotches, turning grey before hatching. They are laid singly either on the foodplant or nearby vegetation and are occasionally simply ejected into vegetation by a perching female. A bout of egg laying often results in several eggs being laid in the same vicinity. Eggs hatch in 2 to 4 weeks, depending on temperature.


Meadow Brown - ovum - Godrevy, Cornwall - 22-Jul-05 [Colin Baker]
Photo © Colin Baker
Meadow Brown - ovum - Unknown location - Unknown date (2) [REARED] [Reg Fry]
Photo © Reg Fry
Meadow Brown - ovum - Unknown location - Unknown date [REARED] [Reg Fry]
Photo © Reg Fry
Meadow Brown - larva - Thatcham - 08-Jul-11 (1)
Photo © Pete Eeles
Meadow Brown - ovum - Thatcham - 05-Jul-11 (1)
Photo © Pete Eeles
Meadow Brown ovum
Photo © Tony Moore
Egg found by watching ovipositing female
28-Jul-2013
Meadow Brown - ovum - Calstone and Cherhill Downs - 29-Aug-13
Photo © Pete Eeles
29-Aug-2013
Meadow Brown Ovum - Somerset - 08/08/13
Photo © William
18-Aug-2013

  Larva  

After hatching, the brown larva eats its eggshell, gradually turning green as it feeds on grasses. This species overwinters as a larva, hidden away at the base of a grass clump, but will continue to feed if the weather is warm enough. Young larvae feed by day, although more mature larvae tend to feed at night resting head down on a grass stem during the day, deep in the vegetation. The larvae are sensitive to any vibration, and will fall to the ground if disturbed. There are 5 moults in total.


Meadow Brown - larva - Stockbridge Down - 15-May-05
Photo © Pete Eeles
15-May-2005
Meadow Brown - larva - Unknown location - Unknown date (2) [REARED] [Ben Smart]
Photo © Ben Smart
Meadow Brown - larva - Unknown location - Unknown date (3) [REARED] [Reg Fry]
Photo © Reg Fry
Meadow Brown - larva - Unknown location - Unknown date (4) [REARED] [Reg Fry]
Photo © Reg Fry
Meadow Brown - larva - Unknown location - Unknown date [REARED] [Ben Smart]
Photo © Ben Smart
Meadow Brown larva. 6/5/2014. Seaford. E. Sussex.
Photo © badgerbob
06-May-2014
Meadow Brown larva. 6/5/2014. Seaford. E. Sussex.
Photo © badgerbob
06-May-2014

  Pupa  

The pupa is formed low down in vegetation, suspended by the cremaster that is invariably attached to the old larval skin. This stage lasts between 3 and 4 weeks.


Meadow Brown - pupa - Bulford Ranges - 10-Aug-98 [Tim Norriss]
Photo © Tim Norriss
Meadow Brown - pupa - Unknown location - Unknown date (2) [REARED] [Ben Smart]
Photo © Ben Smart
Meadow Brown pupa. 29/6/2014. High and Over, Seaford, East Sussex.
Photo © badgerbob
29-Jun-2014
Meadow Brown pupa. 6/7/2014. High and Over, Seaford, East Sussex.
Photo © badgerbob
06-Jul-2014
Meadow Brown pupa - Frog Firle, Sussex 17-July-2014
Photo © downland boy
17-Jul-2014

  Similar Species  

Gatekeeper

Description to be completed.

  Videos  

Video © DAVID ELEMENT
Meadow Brown Butterflies Maniola jurtina insularis

  Sites  

Click here to see the distribution of this species overlaid with specific site information. Alternatively, select one of the sites listed below.

Sites
Aberffraw Dunes, Arnside Knott, Arthur's Seat, Ashampstead Common, Aspal Close, Aston Rowant NNR, Aylesbeare Common, Badbury Rings, Banstead Woods, Bedfont Lakes Country Park LNR, Bovey Valley Woodlands, Bryncelyn Hall, Chatteris, Cross Hill Quarry, Cuerden Valley Park, Denbies Hillside, Devil's Ditch, Durlston Country Park, Eakring Meadows Nature Reserve, Epping Forest, Fleam Dyke, Glenarm, Gwrelych Valley, Higher Hyde, Howardian Local Nature Reserve, Hutton Roof Crags, Kinghorn Loch Path, Latterbarrow, Latton Woods, Lavernock, Mansmead wood, Mayford Pond, Meanwood Park, Mill Hill, Millenium Arboretum, Moors Valley Country Park, Moss Field, Mynydd Marian, Nupend Wood, Old Down, Basingstoke, Parc Penallta, Redscar and Tunbrook Woods, Rookery, St Abbs Head, Sutton Bingham Reservoir, Tophill Low, Viking Field/LesleySears, Winsdon Hill

  Conservation Status  

This butterfly is stable throughout its range and it is not, therefore, a species of conservation concern.

UK BAP StatusDistribution Trend (%)Population Trend (%)
Not Listed
Stable-2
Stable-8

The table above shows the distribution and population trends of species regularly found in the British Isles. The distribution trend represents a comparison between data for the periods 1995-1999 and 2005-2009. The information provided is taken from the Butterfly Conservation report The State of the UK's Butterflies 2011. The UK BAP status is taken from the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) (2007 review).


  Links  

The following links provide additional information on this butterfly.

  References  

The species description provided here references the following publications:

ReferenceDetails
Chalmers-Hunt (1970) Chalmers-Hunt, J.M. (1970) The Butterflies and Moths of the Isle of Man. Transactions of the Society for British Entomology.
Dennis (1977) Dennis, R.L.H. (1977) The British Butterflies - Their Origin and Establishment.
Graves (1930a) Graves, P.P. (1930) The British and Irish Maniola jurtina. The Entomologist.
Grote (1897) Grote, A.R. (1897) Die Schmetterlingsfauna von Hildesheim. - Mitt. Roemer-Museum, Hildesh.
Linnaeus (1758) Linnaeus, C. (1758) Systema Naturae. Edition 10.
Schrank (1801) Schrank, F. (1801) Fauna boica. Durchgedachte Geschichte der in Baiern einheimschen und zahmen Thiere.
Swainson (1827) Swainson, W. (1827) A Sketch of the Natural Affinities of the Lepidoptera Diurna of Latreille. The Philosophical magazine : or Annals of chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, natural history and general science.
Thomson (1969) Thomson, G. (1969) Maniola (Epinephile) jurtina (L.) (Lep. Satyridae) and its forms. Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation.
Thomson (1970a) Thomson, G. (1970) On the Nature of Maniola jurtina splendida B.-White (Lep. Satyridae). Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation.
White (1871) White, F.B. (1871) The Lepidoptera of Scotland. Scottish Naturalist.

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