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grayling   <>   hipparchia semele   <>   glasán 

 

Grayling, Burren, Co Clare 2003
  © D Hardiman 2003   

Habitat:  The Grayling is fairly common on dry, rocky and sandy areas, especially coastal. 
It is single brooded.
Larval Food Plant:   Variety of grasses including -
                                     Early Hairgrass  Aira praecox
                                     Marram  Ammophila arenaria
Flight Time:   July and August
Hibernation:   Overwinters as a larva.
The Grayling has excellent camouflage and when disturbed moves a short distance and merges with its surroundings.

 

 

Male Grayling, Burren, Co Clare 2003 Grayling                              © DHardiman 2003   

 

                                                                                                      

                                                                                   Life Cycle of  the
Grayling

 

Ovum:
The white oval shaped egg measuring c.0.8 mm in height changes to a pale yellow before hatching.
They are laid singly on blades or stems of  grass in July and August and hatch in c.17 days.

 

Larva:    The mature larva measures up to 30 mm in length tapering towards the rear.  The body is light ochreous
with a conspicuous deep brown mediodorsal line and dark brown stripes in the subdorsal region.  An ochreous
band extends along the spiracular line.  The head is light  brown  with dark brown stripes and the small 
anal points are brown.

© DHardiman 


The young larva feeds by night on a wide range of  grasses descending and resting at the base of the plant 
by day.   After the second moult it moves to the base of the grasses to overwinter on or in the soil,                   
sporadically feeding by day and night during mild weather.   But full activity does not begin until the
spring when it resumes feeding and growth,  reaching full development by early June.

 

Pupa:
Pupation takes place in June when the larva burrows into the soil creating a small cell, about 10mm below ground 
level, which it lines loosely with silk.  It is here the pupa is formed.  As it does not  possess cremasteral
hooks, the pupa is unattached within the cell .  This stage lasts c.4 weeks.

© DHardiman 

 

adult:
The adult emerges in July and is on the wing in July and August.
It is only occassionally seen visiting flowers such as heather, thyme and other purple flowers to feed.

 

 

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Hesperidae ] Pieridae ] Lycaenidae ] Nymphalidae ] Satyridae ] Migrants ] .