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Meadow Brown

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A very common butterfly of grassland and waste places.


Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

Meadow Brown: a real downer

Post date: Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 - 00:00

If this is not the most common of our butterflies in mid summer it is certainly one of our most widespread. The meadow brown (Maniola jurtina) uses all sorts of grass as its food plant and therefore can be seen anywhere there is grass! It does, of course, thrive on chalk downland but you can see it in open grassy areas along roadside verges, in gardens, along woodland rides or edges, in meadows, on heath, or cliffs tops. That just about covers the whole range of Dorset habitat! 

Flying primarily throughout June, July and much of August, in good warm summers there will often be a second brood on the wing in September too giving an almost continuous four month period when they can be seen. Immigration of this species has been observed but it is not considered to be migratory species in any numbers.

At first glance they look a bit drab in colour but when they open their wings to sun themselves I think they are quite lovely, a perfect blend of orange and brown. The gatekeeper is similar but is smaller and has more orange and the other close relative is the ringlet that lacks any orange at all.


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Meadow Brown
Scientific Name Maniola jurtina
Interest Level
Species Family Satyrid Butterflies (Browns)
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes