Butterflies of Keele
Speckled Wood Parage aegeria
A woodland butterfly frequenting woodland rides and glades.
The adults rarely visit flowers as they get their sustenance not from nectar, but from honeydew on leaves.
There are two broods - May to June and August to September. The adults of the two broods are distinctive. The autumn brood has smaller cream spots than the spring brood. This species is unique among our butterflies as it overwinters in one of two different stages; either as a larva or as a pupa.
The larvae feed on grasses, especially False Brome Brachypodium sylvaticum, Yorkshire Fog Holcus lanatus and Cocksfoot Dactylis glomeratus.
This is another success story as it is only since the 1980s that this species has reached North Staffordshire. Now it is quite common in woodlands and more mature gardens.
At Keele it can be found in any woodland area. Look for it in sunny glades as they are very territorial and will defend their own sun spots.