Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina

Scientific Name: Maniola jurtina (Nymphalidae). The genus name comes from Manes, the soul of the departed and means 'little ghost'.

English Name: Meadow Brown.

French Name: Le Myrtil.

5 Key Characters:
  • males dark brown above with an eye spot on the fore wing.
  • females brown above with a bigger eye spot and variable amounts of bright tawny orange (fauve).
  • very gregarious (where you see one you will almost certainly see several).
  • females are noticeably bigger than males.
  • underside various shades of brown, cream and tan.
Lookalikes: Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus, which is smaller and has double 'pupilled' eye spots.

Habitat: Grasslands, grassy banks, open woodland, hay meadows. Females egg lay in recently mowed hay meadows.

Flight Period: May-June-July-August-September-October.

Caterpillar: Green. Host plants Annual Meadow Grass Poa annua, Sheep Fescue Festuca ovina, Tor Grass Brachypodium pinnatum subsp rupestre.

Status: Most widespread and abundant butterfly species in France. A grassland indicator species (monitored to judge the state of natural grasslands) which is currently stable.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:
Female, nectaring on Wild Oregano Origanum vulgaris (on the right a Southern White Admiral Limenitis reducta).
Male (note 'sex mark', the dark slash across the fore wing which emits pheromones).

Nectaring on lavender
Nectaring on lavender.
Nectaring on lavender.
Nectaring on lavender.




Nectaring on lavender.

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