Speckled Wood

Pararge aegeria

Bob Eade
Bob Eade
Bob Eade
Andrew Cooper
Peter Eeles
Peter Eeles
Peter Eeles

Identification Tip

The wings of Speckled Wood butterflies are brown with creamy yellow markings, giving the appearance of dappled shade.

What do they eat?

Caterpillars munch on grasses including:

  • False Brome
  • Cock’s-foot
  • Yorkshire-fog
  • Common Couch

Adults feed on honeydew (made by aphids) in the treetops and are rarely seen feeding on flowers, except early and late in the year when aphid activity is low.

Where does it spend the winter?

Speckled Woods spend the winter either as a caterpillar or a chrysalis. Hibernating caterpillars fix themselves to a grass stem with silk but may wake up to feed if the weather is mild enough.

Chrysalises are either amongst the grass or occasionally on a fence or a plant pot.

Ideas to help Speckled Wood in your Wild Space



Flying Season

March - October

Life Cycle


March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October


April, May, June, July, August, September, October


January, February, March, May, June, July, September, October, November, December


January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

UK Distribution

Want to learn


There is even more about this species on the main Butterfly Conservation website

Fun Facts
about the Speckled Wood

If a female is approached by a male that she doesn’t want to mate with, she "plays dead" until he loses interest and flies away.