Maniola jurtina

Meadow Brown


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
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Vaud, Switzerland, June 2020

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2016

Field notes and information

Arguably the commonest European butterfly. It flies everywhere from north Africa into southern Scandinavia. It is often abundant throughout the range and can be found in dry or damp conditions upto moderate altitudes (1500m or so) and in any variety of grassy habitat.

Identification & Similar species: Several very similar species are found on various Greek islands close to the Turkish mainland where the current species doesn't fly. I haven't seen most of those species so I list them here.

From Lesbos, M. megala is larger.

From Chios and Inousses M. chia is the only species to fly.

From many of the more southerly islands, including Lesbos and Samos, M. telmessia can fly with several other similar species. Smaller than M. megala with which it may occur on Lesbos.

From the small island of Nissiros M. halicarnassus can be found where I don't think other similar species fly.

The Sardinian meadow brown M. nurag flies on Sardinia. That species is smaller and has a lot more orange on the upperside. The underside hindwing is relatively uniform light brown.

Also very similar to the Hyponephele species, which lack a well defined post discal band on the underside hindwing and whose females generally have two large upperside forewing post discal spots.

Distribution & Flight: In the region, only absent from central and northern Scandinavia. Single brooded, from late May to September.

Habitat & Behaviour: Grassy places in many situations - grasslands, forest clearings, hills, waste ground, islands...

Variation: Extremely variable in size and markings. In Spain, north Africa and south France the subspecies hispulla flies. This is somewhat brighter orange and has orange markings in the underside hindwing post discal band.

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2011


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Vaud, Switzerland, May 2022

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Vaud, Switzerland, July 2021

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2022

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2022

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La Gomera, Spain, August 2021

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La Palma, Spain, August 2021

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El Hierro, Spain, August 2021

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Vaud, Switzerland, June 2020

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Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2016

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Vaud, Switzerland, August 2020

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Chalkidiki, Greece, May 2004

Male showing scent brands on forewings.