Reddish Vale Country Park

Speckled Wood Butterfly

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The Speckled Wood Butterfly have brown wings with creamy-yellow spots; there is one black and white eyespot on the forewing and three on the hind.


This species is common in woods, scrub and tall vegetation throughout southern England and lowland Wales, and appears to be recolonising eastern and northern England and Scotland.


You can often see males perched in pools of sunlight or fluttering upwards in a band of sunshine in an otherwise shady woodland. Females lay single, white eggs on a variety of grasses along the sunny edges of woods.

The caterpillars are bright green with faint, darker green and yellow stripes. They pupate after about 10 days, with the chrysalises suspended beneath grass blades. The Speckled Woods are able to hibernate as either a caterpillar or chrysalis.


Adults feed on aphid honeydew. They are rarely seen on flowers except early and late in the year when there are few aphids. The caterpillars eat various grasses, including false brome, cock's foot, Yorkshire fog and common couch.


Adults can be seen between Mach and October. Caterpillars throughout the year except April.

Speckled Wood