Hipparchia semele


Switzerland, June 2011

Switzerland, June 2011

Supping at over-ripe elder berries, Switzerland, September 2011

Switzerland, July 2012

Suffolk, UK, August 2007

Switzerland, July 2007

(video frame) August 2001, Suffolk heathland

Suffolk, UK, August 2006

Switzerland, August 2008

This is a widespread and common butterfly, though in Britain it is largely restricted to coastal regions and is rarer inland. Throughout much of Europe it is the standard grayling. The markings are incredibly variable, depending to some extent on the camouflage requirements of the local environment - so more chalky white in chalk regions, more densely dark in heath regions - but also varying considerably within local populations.

In Switzerland there is a single, very protracted, brood. The first specimens are on the wing at the beginning of June and the last are still flying at the beginning of November in some years.