Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Species

Male. Taken at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon on June 14th 2014.
(1/200th sec at f13. Approx 2.25x lifesize)

Male underside. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks, on June 26th 2016.
(1/640th sec at f14. Approx 2.25x lifesize)

Female. Taken at Chimney Meadows, Oxon on July 10th 2011.
(1/160th sec at f13. Approx 2.25x lifesize)

Female underside. Taken at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon on July 21st 2013.
(1/400th sec at f14. Approx 2.25x lifesize)

Mating pair. Taken at Daneway Banks, Glos, on June 25th 2016.
(1/200th sec at f14. Approx 2.25x lifesize)

Female ab. alba. Taken at Bowdown Wood, Berks, on July 23rd 2011.
(1/320th sec at f14. Approx 2.25x lifesize)

© David Hastings

Description

Wing span: 42-46 mm
 
Meadow Browns are often seen in large numbers feeding on Bramble alongside other grassland species such as the Gatekeeper and Ringlet. Like the Ringlet, the Meadow Brown will fly in dull weather when most other butterfly species are inactive. The female differs from the male in having orange marks on its forewings. It also has brown tips to the forewing underside and a more distinct line across the underside of the hindwing. There is an aberration which can occur in the female, where the usually fulvous patch of the forewings is replaced by white. This is called ab. alba.
 
Subspecies insularis occurs throughout the British Isles with the exception of Ireland, north-west Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Isles of Scilly. Subspecies splendida is found in north-west Scotland and the Isle of Man, cassiteridum is found on the Isles of Scilly, and iernes is found in Ireland.
 
The Meadow Brown occurs in a wide variety of grassland habitats such as downland heathland coastal dunes meadows roadside verges, hedgerows, woodland rides and clearings. It will also occur in urban habitats such as parks, large gardens, and cemeteries where grassy areas are left to grow tall.
 
There is one brood per year, with adults on the wing from mid-June to the end of September. The larva is the over-wintering stage.
 
Larval foodplants include various Bents, Fescues and Meadow grasses, Cock's-foot, Downy Oat-grass and False Brome. Adults feed primarily on Bramble, Buttercups, Carline Thistle, Devil's-bit Scabious, Fleabane, Hemp Agrimony, Knapweeds, Marjoram, Privet, Ragwort, Selfheal, Teasel, Thistles and Yarrow.
 
The male is the most active of the two sexes and finds a mate either by patrolling, or by investigating any butterfly that flies past his perch. Females are normally only active when nectaring or egg-laying and spend most of their time resting near the ground. Here they sit camouflaged, with wings closed and forewings tucked beneath the hindwings. When disturbed, they raise their forewings to reveal a large eye spot that must appear threatening to any predator.
 
This species is listed as Least Concern in the latest Red List of British Butterflies (PDF).
 

Sightings

29-Aug-2016:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(50+)
28-Aug-2016:Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon(1)
21-Aug-2016:Hackpen Hill, Oxon(30+)
21-Aug-2016:Pewsey Down, Wilts(14)
14-Aug-2016:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(3)
14-Aug-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(15+)
12-Aug-2016:Marston Meadows, Oxon(4)
12-Aug-2016:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)
07-Aug-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(10+)
06-Aug-2016:Fence Wood, Berks(5)
06-Aug-2016:Greenham Common, Berks(11+)
31-Jul-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(20+)
30-Jul-2016:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(120+)
23-Jul-2016:Bernwood Meadows, Bucks(50+)
23-Jul-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(25+)
23-Jul-2016:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(25+)
16-Jul-2016:Silchester Common, Hants(6)
16-Jul-2016:Crookham Common, Berks(3)
15-Jul-2016:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(1)
14-Jul-2016:Lardon Chase, Berks(15+)
14-Jul-2016:Chazey Heath, Oxon(2)
11-Jul-2016:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(30+)
09-Jul-2016:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(14+)
07-Jul-2016:Fermyn Wood, Northants(6)
05-Jul-2016:Smardale Gill NNR, Cumbria(5)
04-Jul-2016:Leighton Moss, Lancashire(1)
03-Jul-2016:Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire(3)
03-Jul-2016:Arnside Knott, Cumbria(20+)
02-Jul-2016:Allithwaite Quarry, Cumbria(4)
30-Jun-2016:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(10m)
28-Jun-2016:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(27+m)
26-Jun-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
26-Jun-2016:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(4m,1f)
25-Jun-2016:Whelford Pools, Glos(4m)
25-Jun-2016:Daneway Banks, Gloucs(10+m,1f)
19-Jun-2016:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(2m)

19-Sep-2015:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(1m,4f)
12-Sep-2015:Radley Lakes, Oxon(1)
06-Sep-2015:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1f)
06-Sep-2015:Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon(1f)
29-Aug-2015:Lardon Chase, Berks(50+)
22-Aug-2015:Yeosden Bank, Bucks(50+)
22-Aug-2015:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(25+)
16-Aug-2015:Hackpen Hill, Oxon(7)
16-Aug-2015:Pewsey Down, Wilts(100+)
15-Aug-2015:Rushy Common, Oxon(2)
12-Aug-2015:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)
09-Aug-2015:Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon(32+)
08-Aug-2015:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
08-Aug-2015:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(6)
06-Aug-2015:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)
06-Aug-2015:Marston Meadows, Oxon(1m, 22f)
02-Aug-2015:Bernwood Meadows, Bucks(100+)
02-Aug-2015:Otmoor, Oxon(20+)
30-Jul-2015:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(40+)
26-Jul-2015:Bansko meadows, Bulgaria
20-Jul-2015:nr Samokov, Bulgaria
18-Jul-2015:Silchester Common, Hants(8)
18-Jul-2015:Crookham Common, Berks(10)
12-Jul-2015:Parsonage Moor, Oxon(3)
11-Jul-2015:The Holies, Berks(50+)
11-Jul-2015:Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon(60+)
10-Jul-2015:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(2)
09-Jul-2015:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)
04-Jul-2015:Calvert Jubilee, Oxon(5)
04-Jul-2015:Otmoor, Oxon(25+)
04-Jul-2015:Charndon, Bucks(5)
03-Jul-2015:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(20+)
03-Jul-2015:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(20+)
02-Jul-2015:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
02-Jul-2015:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(21+)
30-Jun-2015:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
30-Jun-2015:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
29-Jun-2015:Marston Meadows, Oxon(50+)
27-Jun-2015:Stanford Dingley, Berks(10+)
23-Jun-2015:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
21-Jun-2015:Otmoor, Oxon(4)
21-Jun-2015:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(15+)
19-Jun-2015:Dunkery Hill, Somerset(5+)
18-Jun-2015:Haddon Hill, Somerset(1)
16-Jun-2015:Heddon Valley, Devon(1)
15-Jun-2015:Collard Hill, Somerset(17+)
07-Jun-2015:Lardon Chase, Berks(6m)

24-Aug-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(5)
24-Aug-2014:Cothill Fen, Oxon(1)
23-Aug-2014:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(25+)
16-Aug-2014:Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon(60+)
09-Aug-2014:Pewsey Down, Wilts(60+)
03-Aug-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(19)
31-Jul-2014:Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire(5)
31-Jul-2014:Myers Allotment, Lancashire(9)
30-Jul-2014:Arnside Knott, Cumbria(10)
29-Jul-2014:Smardale Gill NNR, Cumbria(3)
28-Jul-2014:Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire(5)
26-Jul-2014:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(50+)
24-Jul-2014:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(2)
20-Jul-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(4)
20-Jul-2014:Calvert Jubilee, Oxon(2)
20-Jul-2014:Finemere Wood, Bucks(20+)
17-Jul-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
15-Jul-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
12-Jul-2014:Homefield Wood, Bucks(20+)
12-Jul-2014:Watlington Hill, Oxon(15)
10-Jul-2014:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(2)
10-Jul-2014:Marston Meadows, Oxon(25+)
06-Jul-2014:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(35+)
06-Jul-2014:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(5)
06-Jul-2014:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(20+)
05-Jul-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
05-Jul-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(3)
02-Jul-2014:North Cave Wetlands, E. Yorkshire(2)
01-Jul-2014:Bempton Cliffs, E. Yorks(1)
30-Jun-2014:Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit, E. Yorks(10+)
30-Jun-2014:Tophill Low, E. Yorks(50+)
29-Jun-2014:Crowle Moor, N. Lincs(10+)
28-Jun-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(10+)
25-Jun-2014:General Todorov, Bulgaria
24-Jun-2014:Mesta River fishponds, Bulgaria
22-Jun-2014:Plazishte, Bulgaria
21-Jun-2014:Byal gradets, Bulgaria
21-Jun-2014:nr Gugutka, Bulgaria
20-Jun-2014:nr Dolna Kula, Bulgaria
19-Jun-2014:Novo Zhelezare, Bulgaria
18-Jun-2014:nr Mirkovo, Bulgaria
16-Jun-2014:Whelford Pools, Glos(2)
16-Jun-2014:Daneway Banks, Gloucs(9)
15-Jun-2014:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(5)
15-Jun-2014:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(1)
14-Jun-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(5+m)

31-Aug-2013:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(150+)
26-Aug-2013:Otmoor, Oxon(9f)
24-Aug-2013:Radley Lakes, Oxon(1)
20-Aug-2013:Marston Meadows, Oxon(4)
18-Aug-2013:Lardon Chase, Berks(25+)
18-Aug-2013:Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon(30+)
11-Aug-2013:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(20+)
10-Aug-2013:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(25+)
10-Aug-2013:Otmoor, Oxon(18+)
07-Aug-2013:Marston Meadows, Oxon(3f)
04-Aug-2013:Bowdown Wood, Berks(11)
04-Aug-2013:Greenham Common, Berks(5)
28-Jul-2013:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(50+)
28-Jul-2013:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(65+)
27-Jul-2013:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
27-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(2)
26-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(2)
24-Jul-2013:Homefield Wood, Bucks(15+)
22-Jul-2013:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
21-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
21-Jul-2013:Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon(100+)
20-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1f)
17-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
14-Jul-2013:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(25+)
14-Jul-2013:Parsonage Moor, Oxon(6)
14-Jul-2013:Cothill Fen, Oxon(1)
13-Jul-2013:Bernwood Meadows, Bucks(25+)
13-Jul-2013:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(15+)
13-Jul-2013:Otmoor, Oxon(45+)
11-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
09-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
08-Jul-2013:Whelford Pools, Glos(12+)
08-Jul-2013:Daneway Banks, Gloucs(25+)
07-Jul-2013:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(75+)
07-Jul-2013:Watlington Hill, Oxon(10+)
06-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(2)
06-Jul-2013:Decoy Heath, Berks(3)
06-Jul-2013:Paices's Wood, Berks(7)
06-Jul-2013:Ashford Hill NNR, Hants(3)
30-Jun-2013:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(5)
30-Jun-2013:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(15+)
29-Jun-2013:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(5m)