Lepidoptera The Large Heath Butterfly – Epinephele Tithonus

This butterfly is sometimes called the ‘Small Meadow Brown,’ and is certainly much like the last species, both in colouring and habits.

The fore wings of the male (Butterflies PicturesPlate V, fig. 9) are light orange brown, bordered with dark brown, and having a broad patch of the same across the middle; and near the costal angle is a round black spot with two white dots. The hind wings are dark brown with a patch of light orange brown near the centre, and a small eye-spot near the anal angle. The female is exactly similar, except that she does not possess the broad bar on the fore wings.

Butterfly Image The Large Heath. Fig. 80.-The Large Heath-Under Side.

The under side is shown in fig. 80, and is coloured with various shades of brown.

This is a very common butterfly, and may be seen during July in most English counties, also in the south of Scotland, and in a few localities in the south of Ireland. It frequents meadows, heaths, downs, and lanes, like Janira, but is not nearly so abundant as that species.

The young caterpillar is hatched in August, and is still very small when it seeks its winter shelter among the stems of grasses. It resumes feeding in the following May, and is full grown towards the end of June. Its colour is very variable-pale green, olive green, or dull brown, with five longitudinal stripes at about equal distances from each other. These consist of a dark one down the middle of the back, a pale line along each side, and another pale line midway between these.

The chrysalis may be found at the end of June, attached by the tail to blades of grass. It is of a very light colour, almost white, but adorned with numerous black lines and patches.