Insects of Britain and Ireland: butterflies

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Aphantopus

Adults. Wingspan 44–50 mm; the fringes not banded. Slender-bodied to medium built; short-bodied. The eyes glabrous. Antennae reaching noticeably less than halfway to the wingtips. The antennal clubs gradual-elongate; curved; not flattened (tapered to a dark tip). Labial palps ascending. Having only 4 fully developed legs. Fore-legs without a tibial epiphysis. Tibiae of middle legs 2-spurred. Posterior tibiae 2-spurred.

Forewings. Forewings apically blunt. The outer and hind margins angled at about 100–105 degrees. The outer margins convexly curved to more or less straight. Uppersides of the forewings muddy dark brown, or fuscous; eye-spotted to without eye-spots (usually with 1–3 small black-ringed eye-spots subterminally near the apex, but these may be obscure or lacking altogether). The eye-spots 1–3; posterior towards the apex, or posterior towards the apex to mid-posterior. Uppersides of the forewings without a discal mark; unpatterned save for the spots.

Hindwings. Hindwings broadly rounded; with the outer margins scalloped to with the outer margins not scalloped (no more than slightly so). Uppersides of the hindwings muddy dark brown, or fuscous. Uppersides of the hindwings eye-spotted to not eye-spotted. The eye-spots when present, 1–3(–5); mid-posterior and near the tornus, or posterior towards the apex, mid-posterior, and near the tornus. Uppersides of the hindwings without a discal mark; coloured like the forewings, sometimes with similar, small spots posteriorly.

Undersides of wings. Undersides of the forewings fuscous with a yellowish tinge, often with 1–3 posterior round white-centred spots ringed with black and pale ochreous, but these are sometimes reduced to white dots or wholly obsolete; eye-spotted (usually), or not eye-spotted. The eye-spots (1–)2–3 (usually represented by pale-ringed, white-centred black spots); posterior towards the apex, or posterior towards the apex to mid-posterior.

Undersides of the hindwings fuscous with a yellowish tinge, often with five or six round white-centred spots ringed with black and pale ochreous, but these are sometimes reduced to white dots or wholly obsolete; eye-spotted, or not eye-spotted. The eye-spots when present, 5–6; near the mid-costa, mid-posterior, and near the tornus (often with two vertically apposed to form a small figure ‘8’ beneath the mid-costa, and a lower-poserior row of three). Undersides of the hindwings without a discal mark.

Wing venation. Forewings 12(–13) veined; with basally dilated veins; vein 12 basally dilated; the lower margin of the discal cell basally dilated; vein 1b not dilated. Forewings with 1 tubular anal vein, or with 2 tubular anal veins (the upper one relatively weak); the anal veins of the forewings representing 1b only, or comprising 1b and 1c; vein 1b simple. Forewings with a discal cell; vein 2 departing from the hind margin of the cell in its distal quarter (from about halfway). Forewing veins 8 and 9 out of 7, 10 separate and from the cell near its base, 11 separate.

Hindwings 9 veined; with a praecostal spur; with 2 anal veins; exhibiting vein 1a; the anal veins comprising 1a and 1b. Hindwings with a closed discal cell; the transverse vein complete. 7 veins arising from the hindwing cell. The cell-derived hindwing veins all arising independently of one another.

Eggs, larvae, pupae. Eggs hemispherical; reticulate (or pitted). The larvae shortly hairy; without bristly spines. On Gramineae in damp, shady places.

Pupae smooth and rounded; conspicuously patterned (ochreous brown sprinkled with reddish brown, and marked with brown on the wing covers); without shining-metallic markings; exposed, with no coccoon; suspended from the tail (cremaster), with no median silk girdle.

British representation. 1 species. Aphantopus hyperanthus (Ringlet). The adults abroad July and August.

Status in Britain. Indigenous.

Distribution. Northern Scotland, southern Scotland, northern England, English Midlands, East Anglia, Wales, southeast England, central southern England, southwest England, Isle of Wight, and Ireland. Frequenting woodland. Habitats calcareous and non-calcareous.

Classification. Superfamily Papilionoidea. Satyridae.

Illustrations. • Aphantopus hyperantus (The Ringlet): photos. • Aphantopus hyperantus (The Ringlet): Giles Watson, photos. • Aphantopus hyperantus (The Ringlet): Giles Watson, photo. • Aphantopus hyperantus (The Ringlet): egg, larva, pupa. • Satyridae (3): Newman, 1871. • Larvae and pupae of A. hyperanthus and other Satyridae: Duponchel (1849).


To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2008 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: butterflies. Version: 16th May 2016. delta-intkey.com’.

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