Home / Brush-Footed (Nymphalidae) / Mountain Ringlet (Erebia epiphron)

Mountain Ringlet (Erebia epiphron)

Mountain Ringlet cumbria-butterflies.org.uk

The Mountain Ringlet is a small to medium-size butterfly that is spread in a limited region of Europe in 12 different subspecies. Because of its secretive nature, this is one of the butterfly species that is difficult to see.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Genus: Erebia
  • Common names: Small Mountain Ringlet
  • Scientific Name: Erebia epiphron

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

Mountain Ringlet Caterpillar freenatureimages.eu

The larva of the mountain ringlet is greenish in color marked with darker green and yellowish lines all over the body, and with a brownish head. They hatch out of the eggs after around 16 days and go in hibernation in October.

Pupa

Mountain Ringlet Pupa ukbutterflies.co.uk

The chrysalis of this little butterfly is very small with a length of about 10 mm. It has a light green thorax and wing cases, greyish white abdomen, having a blackish brown dorsal streak on the thorax. The pupa develops deep in tussocks of grass inside a loose silk case. The stage lasts for about three weeks.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism: Vaguely present

Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, the base color shows a dull black hue that fades towards the boundary. Both the primary and the secondary wings are bordered with orange spots with a black dot on each. When the wings are closed, they show the same color scheme. However, only the orange marks are either almost absent or extremely faint with a couple of vague black dots on them, if present. Some males are faintly brighter than the females.

Mountain Ringlet Butterfly 4.bp.blogspot.com

Small Mountain Ringlet dorsetwalks.com

Average wingspan: 16–22 mm (0.63–0.87 in)

Flight pattern: Short flights, keeping low to the ground, pausing regularly to bask

Eggs

Mountain Ringlet Eggs ukbutterflies.co.uk

When first laid, they are pale cream to yellow, later changing to fawn with darker markings; maximum of 70 eggs, laid singly

Quick Facts

Distribution Common only in the mountainous regions of central and southern Europe
Habitat Sunny grasslands, warm mountainous valleys, and forests
Lifespan Usually, around three months (June to August), depending upon altitude
Host plants The main foodplant is believed to be mat-grass (Nardus stricta); the full range is not known
Adult diet Nectar, yellow petals of the Tormentil flowers

Did You Know?

  • The mountain ringlet butterflies are the only true alpine butterfly species of Britain.
  • This is the first butterfly species to recolonize the United Kingdom after the last ice age.

Erebia epiphron guypadfield.com

Mountain Ringlet Butterfly Images butterfly-conservation.org

Mountain Ringlet Butterfly Pictures rspb.org.uk

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