Site address
(not postal)

Woodcroft Wildspace
Downes Court


N21 3PT
photo by Dawn Kandekore

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)

These butterflies are brown in colour and have bright orange-brown patches both on their forewings and hind wings. They have a dark eyespot on the forewings. There are regional variations in the spot pattern on the wings of the Meadow Brown and this has led to it being studied extensively by geneticists for a number of years. Larger forms of the Meadow Brown can be found in Ireland and the north of Scotland.

They eat a wide range of grasses, preferring those with finer leaves such as meadow-grasses, fescues, and bents. Coarser grasses such as Cock's Foot are believed to be eaten also.

Meadow Browns are found in open grasslands such as heaths, downs, hay meadows, hedgerows, roadside verges, woodland rides and clearings, urban parks, churchyards and large gardens; also by coastal dunes and undercliffs.

The Meadow Brown is a common butterfly species in many habitats. In some places hundreds may be seen may be seen flying low over the vegetation, but many colonies have been lost due to intense agricultural practices.. Most butterflies are inactive in dull weather but the Meadow Brown will fly at these times.

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