Butterflies - Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera)
The delicately patterned light brown undersides of the Wall Brown give excellent camouflage against a stony or sandy surfaces. It has a particular habit of basking on walls, rocks, bare patches of earth and stony places.
During hot sunny weather, the males patrol their territory, flying fast and low over the ground, seeking out unmated females. In cool, dull weather, the males bask in sunny spots, flying up to intercept passing females, or to drive off other males and other butterflies.
In Warwickshire, the Wall is now thought to be extinct as a breeding species. Individuals were still occasionally being reported until 2007 but there have been no confirmed records since.
- Larval Food Plants
- Key Sites
Tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum)
False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum)
Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata)
Wavy Hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa)
Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus)
Bents (Agrostis spp)
The Wall requires short grassland where the turf is bare, broken or stony. It occurs on dunes and other coastal habitats such as undercliffs and rocky foreshores as well as disturbed land such as railway embankments and cuttings, disused quarries, derelict land, and sometimes gardens.
Extinct in Warwickshire.
The reason for the demise of the Wall Brown in our region and beyond is still unknown although loss of habitat and/or use of pesticides are likely causes.
Between 1995 and 1999, the Wall Brown was widespread in the north and east of the county.
In 2000, it was recorded at Shipston in the south, to the east, the focus of observations were at Wolfhampcote and in the north of the county, locations at Dosthill and Hartshill provided several records.
From 2001, numbers fell dramatically. Only a single record at Kingsbury Colliery Spoilheaps. In 2002, a couple of records from Navigation Cutting near Rugby was followed in 2003 by a single record at Windmill Blast Bank, Nuneaton.
The butterfly has only been recorded since in 2005 at Windmill Community Nature Area and Old Quarry Bank, Mancetter Road. Both of these locations being north east of Nuneaton.
The last confirmed report by John Harris was on 18th April 2007 at Fisher’s Mill near Middleton Hall in the far north of the county.
The nearest known colony is thought to be Cuckoo Bank near Chasewater just over the county border in South Staffordshire.
A photographic slideshow displaying various images of the Wall Brown is currently in development.
Details of how you can supply your own photographs for display here will be made available soon.
The flight chart below is based on observations of the adult Wall Brown butterfly in Warwickshire between 2005 and 2008. Peak periods are shown in dark green.