Family SATYRIDA Pararge aegeria

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This species is generally distributed throughout England and Wales, more plentiful in the south and west than in the east and north; everywhere abundant in Ireland, local in Scotland and rare north of the Caledonian Canal.

It is usually found to frequent shady lanes, borders of woods, etc., where the sun's rays are more or less intercepted by a leafy screen, and seems to be more abundant in wet seasons than in dry ones.

The butterfly is blackish-brown in colour and the spots are yellowish. There is one white-pupilled black eye spot near the tips of the fore wings and three such spots on the outer area of the hind wings. The female (illustrated) is usually slightly larger than the male and the yellowish spots distinctly larger. The spots are sometimes much reduced in size in the male, or greatly enlarged in the female.
The egg is pale greenish and finely reticulated. As the caterpillar matures within, the shell becomes less glossy than at first, and the upper part is blackish.

The caterpillar has a green head which is larger than the first ring of the body and is covered with short whitish hairs with which are mixed a few dark hairs. The body is rather a brighter green, with darker lines, edged with yellowish, along the back and sides. The skin is wrinkled and the whole of the body is clothed with whitish hair and a few dark hairs arising from warts; the anal points are also hairy. It feeds on various grasses, among which are Couch and Cock's-foot.

The chrysalis is pale green, tinged with yellowish or whitish; the edges of the wing covers are brown and there are whitish dots on the body. These colours may vary. It is suspended by the cremaster from a silken pad.

From eggs laid in early May butterflies appeared at the end of June; and from eggs laid in June butterflies resulted in the middle of August. Early July eggs produced perfect insects in early September, and from caterpillars fed up in October butterflies were out in November.

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