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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Images contributed by U.K
photographer Steve Oddy.
Aphantopus hyperantus is one of numerous Ringlet butterflies in the tribe Satyrini.
It is a medium sized butterfly with dorsal and ventril wing sides that are solid brown with small, yellow rimmed eyespots.
Newly emerged Ringlets have a velvety appearance and are almost black with a white fringe to the wings.
The number and size of the eyespots is variable. (They may even be missing on the upper wing surface.)
In central Europe and southern England the rare form Arete occurs. The eggs are pale yellow when first laid, but become pale brown.
With its chocolate brown velvety wings and delicate trim, the ringlet is an understated yet attractive butterfly. Look for its trademark bobbing flight as it travels through woodland glades.
When newly emerged, the Ringlet has a velvety appearance, almost black, with a white fringe to the wings. The small circles on the underwings, which give the butterfly its name, vary in number and size and maybe enlarged and elongated or reduced to small white spots; occasionally they lack the black ring. They are a dark brown butterfly and similar to male Meadow Brown.
They live in grassy, forest clearings with bushes but not in open spaces.
There is a strong attraction to woodland edges and blackberry bushes. They can also be very common where there are creeping thistles (Cirsium arvense) or swamp thistles (Cirsium palustre), oregano (Origanum vulgare), forest scabious (Knautia sylvatica), or hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) which are favorite food plants of the imagos.
The males fly in search of newly hatched females in slow, uninterrupted flight and flutter round, about and between grass stems.
After breeding, the female lays her eggs in a random manner, dropping them down in the undergrowth from mid air. The eggs are pale yellow initially, before turning a light brown color.
Around two to three weeks later the eggs hatch and the caterpillars emerge.
Ringlets are noted for their characteristic flip-flop flight over short distances, and rarely cover more than a few yards at a time.
They are most active in warm but overcast conditions, and will fly even during light precipitation.
A single brood butterfly, they fly from mid-June to late August.
Predators to Ringlets include birds, amphibians, and some reptiles.
Diet: caterpillars deed on assorted grasses.
Wingspan: 35 - 42 mm / 3.5 - 4.2 cm / 1.38 - 1.65 "
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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