Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood - Macro Photography
Speckled wood butterfly
Pararge aegeria
This brown woodland butterfly does not feed from flowers but on the honeydew secreted by aphids. It has brown wings with creamy-yellow spots and a small dark eye spot near the tip of the upper wing and the lower wings have a row of dark brown eye spots.

This specis is widespread throughout Europe and inhabits woodlands and hedgerows.

Adults feed on aphid honeydew, a sticky sugary substance secreted by aphids as they feed on plant juices.

Some male butterflies claim particular areas and defend them from rival butterflies. Speckled woods choose areas where the sunlight breaks through the trees. They patrol the patch and investigate every insect in the neighbourhood. They are on the look out for females to mate with or male intruders who they attack and chase away. You might see them spiralling up into the tree-tops, clashing wings with each other in battle. The butterfly that claimed the territory first usually wins.