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 wall brown (the wall)   <>lasiommata megera   <>   donnóg an bhalla  


© DHardiman 2002  

Habitat: The Wall Browm is widespread along the coast and also inland.  It is typically found basking in sunshine on walls, rocks and bare ground.
It is double brooded.  In warm summers there may be a third brood.
Larval Food Plant:  Variety of grasses including -
                                              Yorkshire Fog  Holcus lanatus
Cock's-foot  Dactylis glomerata
Flight Time:   May and June
                           August to September
                           September to October (in warm summers)
Hibernation:  Overwinters as a larva (& possibly as a pupa).
This butterfly is very alert and difficult to approach closely.  The male has a bar of androconial cells in the centre of each forewing.


Wall Brown butterfly. Ringsend, Dubllin. 2002
© DHardiman 2002  



  Life Cycle of  the Wall  


The almost spherical shaped  eggs, measuring  c.0.8 mm in height, are a translucent green soon turning to white.  
They are laid singly or in small clusters, on blades of grass or exposed roots, in sheltered warm sites during
May and June and again in August.  Hatching occurs in c.10 days.
In very warm  summers there may be a third brood.


Larva:   The mature larva measures up to 25 mm in length.  The body is a bright  bluish-green colour and has a 
darker green mediodorsal line and faint white lateral lines.  Below them is a distinct pale spiracular line.
The head is green and the short anal  points white.
On emergence the young larva usually eats it eggshell and thereafter feeds on its foodplant by night although 
the later instars feed also by day.  There are four instars.

© DHardiman 2002 

The Overwintering  larvae resume feeding and growth in early spring, usually pupating from mid to late 
April,  producing the first generation adults in May and June.  

First  generation larvae, occuring in mid-June to early August,  go on to pupate producing adults from August 
to September. This larval stage lasts for  c. 31 days.                   
Second  generation larvae Overwinter in this larval state becoming active the following spring, usually
April.  This overwintering larval stage lasts c.9 months.

In mild warm summers there may be a third generation.
It has been suggested that  in dry  warm weather some of the summer generation larvae may develop
rapidly enough to enter  pupation and overwinter in the pupal state.


Pupation takes place on the stem of  the host  plant, usually inconspicuously under overhanging leaves.
The short cremaster is attached to a silk pad by its short curved spines.
This stage lasts c.3 weeks.  But those individuals that pupate in early winter may overwinter in this 
stage for up to 7 months.

© DHardiman 2002

The adults emerge from pupation and are on the wing during May and June and again in August to 
September and in mild weather there may be a small third generation in September to October.




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