Lasiommata megera

Wall Brown


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2010

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2021

Field notes and information

This is a widespread and often encountered butterfly. It is usually very alert and difficult to approach for photographs.

Identification & Similar species: Its overall orange colouration recalls the fritillaries in flight. It doesn't hold its wings flat in flight though which can be used to separate it from them.

Similar to the large wall and northern wall browns L. maera & L. petropolitana with which it may fly. The current species has bold yellow-orange markings with dark brown ground colour that breaks up the bright patterning. The other species have reduced markings and a warmer orange colour. There are 2 cross-bars in the forewing upperside cell and an orange discal band on the upperside hindwing.

The current species is replaced on Corsica and Sardinia by the taxon paramegera which is now usually considered to be a separate species. It has more extensive orange markings.

Distribution & Flight: Very widespread from north Africa to England, southern Scandinavia and Greece. Flies throughout the warmer months of the year.

Habitat & Behaviour: Hot grassy places, often with bare ground or rocks which are favourite places to bask.

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Bouches du Rhône, France, April 2004

Undersides - male on the right.

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2017

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Rhodes, Greece, May 2017

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Anti-Atlas, Morocco, March 2022

Male with prominent sex brand.

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2022


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Valais, Switzerland, June 2017

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2013

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2017

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Rhodes, Greece October 2018

The only one I found on the island in October.

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Prov. Malaga, Spain, July 2013

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2010

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

Courting. The sex brand is very clear in male in the foreground.

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High Atlas, Morocco, August 2019

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

Taking salts from sheep fur.

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2015

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Vaud, Switzerland, May 2015

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Vaud, Switzerland, October 2010

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Peloppenesos, Greece, July 2018

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Bouches du Rhône, France, April 2004