Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)

.... and in Manx that's Breck ny Keylley

Photo crop

The ground colour is dark brown which is mottled with creamy white spots.

This is a very recent coloniser of the Island and, like the Comma, in Britain it suffered a huge decline in range throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth century before bouncing back and spreading northwards. Two individuals were recorded in 2005 and the first breeding colony to be noted was discovered in 2006 at Port Soderick. Since then it has spread Island wide in a quite remarkably swift and complete colonisation and whilst still to be found in greater numbers in or near wooded areas it can be encountered pretty much anywhere now providing trees or shrubs are fairly close by.

The males are strongly territorial and occupy areas of sunlit shrubbery amongst woodland. The caterpillar foodlant is wild coarse grasses. At least two broods, possibly three. It is the only British butterfly that can overwinter in two forms – either as a caterpillar or pupa. This leads to a long Spring emergence period and as a result the butterfly can be found on the wing in varying numbers from April to mid October.

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