Ringlet ©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION


Ringlet ©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION


Scientific name: Aphantopus hyperantus
The Ringlet gets its name from the small rings on the undersides of its wings. These rings show variation in the different forms of this species, even elongating into a teardrop shape.

Species information


Wingspan: 4.2-5.2cm

Conservation status


When to see

June to August


The Ringlet is a medium-sized, sooty-brown butterfly. It is commonly found along woodland rides, edges and hedgerows, and on damp grassland from June to August. The adults prefer Bramble and Wild privet flowers as nectar sources and can be seen flying with a characteristic bobbing movement even on dull days. The caterpillars feed on a variety of grasses including Cock's-foot and False broom.

How to identify

The Ringlet is a dark, sooty to chocolate brown butterfly, with a white fringe along its velvety wings. The best way to identify the 'brown' butterflies is by looking at the eyespots on their wings. The Ringlet has three eyespots on the underside of the forewings and five eyespots on the underside of the hindwings, although variations in these markings do occur.


Found throughout the country, although absent from the north of Scotland.

Did you know?

The female Ringlet lays her eggs by perching on a grass stem and ejecting them into the air so that they land on nearby vegetation. After two to three weeks, the eggs hatch and the caterpillars emerge. The larvae are nocturnal and undergo four moults before pupating.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and woodland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of butterflies, including the Ringlet. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time, scrub clearance and coppicing are just some of the ways grasslands and woodlands are kept in good condition - supporting invertebrates and, in turn, the larger animals that prey on them. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.