High Weald

speckled_woodThe Speckled Wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria is common in woodlands wherever dappled light occurs. It appears to be an early beneficiary of climate change.

A medium sized butterfly, the speckled pattern on the wings is excellent camouflage in dappled light beneath trees. The light squares on the wings can be cream or light yellow.  There are 2 or 3 generations, depending on location and weather conditions and adults of later generations are generally darker than those emerging earlier in the year.

The Speckled Wood mainly breeds in woodland habitats, but it also uses lanes and tracks between tall hedgerows, parks, gardens, and scrub. It seems to prefer slightly damp areas where there is tall grass and some shade. Its main foodplant are grasses.

Visit any woodland in the High Weald to witness the spiralling flight of these butterflies as they chase each other through the dappled shade.