Lepidoptera The Northern Brown Butterfly – Erebia Athiops
The colour of this species (Plate V, fig. 4) is a rich dark brown, with rust-coloured and black spotted bands arranged something like those of the last. The markings, however, are very variable. There are usually four black spots on the band of the fore wings, but the first two of these are always united, and centred with white. The third is often very small or entirely wanting.
The under side of the fore wings is marked something like the upper, but the hind wings on this side are grey, with two broad bands of a darker colour.
As its popular name implies, this butterfly is a northerner. It is common in Scotland, where it flies in elevated spots. In England it is confined to the mountainous districts of the north.
The perfect insect is at large in July and August, during which time the eggs are deposited on various grasses or on low-growing herbage in grassy spots.
The caterpillar is of a brown colour, and has a narrow black stripe down the middle of the back, and two other stripes, lighter than the ground colour, one on each side. At about the end of June it turns to a chrysalis of a brownish colour.
The food plants of this species include a number of common grasses.