Lepidoptera The Ringlet Butterfly – Epinephele Hyperanthus
This is another rather plainly dressed insect, though somewhat prettily adorned on the under side. The upper surface is of a very deep sepia brown, almost black, with a few indistinct black eye-like spots near the margins. The under side (Plate V, fig. 10) is of a lighter umber brown, with corresponding eye-spots generally very conspicuous. These spots are black, with white centres, and generally surrounded by light rings. They are subject, however, to considerable variation. Those on the upper surface are sometimes quite absent in the male, but are nearly always readily perceptible in the female. On the under side, too, they are occasionally quite absent, while in other varieties they are minute white-centred dots, without any surrounding light ring. Our coloured drawing represents the most usual form.
The favourite haunts of the Ringlet are the borders of woods, and the sheltered sides of flowery hedgerows. It is not so widely distributed as some of the common ‘Browns,’ but is usually very abundant where it occurs, sometimes appearing in such numbers that several may be taken with a single stroke of the net. It does not seem to be a frequenter of Scotland, and is known in Ireland only in the south. Its head quarters are the southern and south-midland counties of England.
The eggs are laid in July on various grasses, on which the young caterpillars feed from about the middle of August till the cold weather sets in. They hybernate at the roots of the grasses till the beginning of the following May, and change to the chrysalis state about the middle of June, suspending themselves to grass blades by means of their anal hooks.
The colour of the caterpillar is dull green or brown, and is marked with five longitudinal stripes much like those of the Large Heath.
The chrysalis is pale brown, spotted and striped with a darker shade of the same colour.