Erebia aethiops - Scotch Argus Butterfly

Image of Aglais io Butterfly

Formal Name: Erebia aethiops

Informal Name: Scotch Argus

Conservation Status: No threat to conservation and numbers have been on the rise

Location: Europe and Asia

Average Wingspan (cm): 4.4

Seen Between: May - July

Description: Erebia aethiops is informally known as Scotch Argus. It has an average wingspan of 4.4 cm.

The dorsal side of the wings is a deep velvet brown with slim dark veins. The edges of the wings have small patches of orange with several black and white 'eye' markings. Along the very edge is a thin white outline. The ventral side of the wings is a duller brown with a white band running across the wing. This appearance makes them look like old/ dead leaves improving their survival chances.

Scotch Argus are seen between July and September. They prefer damp areas, riverbanks, edges of woodland, long grasses and sheltered limestone. They feed on several nectar-rich plants such as Brambles, Moor Grass, Hawkweeds, Thistles, Wild Marjoram and Heather.

This butterfly had previously faced a decline in numbers, however this is no longer the case. For now, this butterfly is no longer a priority species under conservation status. Erebia aethiops is only likely to be seen in Scotland and very few areas in the North of England.