Scotch argus

The Scotch Argus is often known as the Scottish butterfly. It is relatively common and widespread. In sunshine, males are very active, flying almost without rest, weaving low through the grass in search of a mate. The males have two white eyespots on each of their open brown fore wings. In poorer weather they perch on grass clumps, only flying up to investigate any other passing brown butterflies. The females are far less conspicuous and spend much of their time basking in the sun.

Adults are seen late in the season from between late July to early September. The males are active in sunshine.

The Scotch Argus occurs in damp, acid or neutral grassland up to 500 m in mountain regions of Scotland. The butterfly is found only in tall grasslands, which are lightly grazed or preferably ungrazed; around the fringes of sheltered bogs, in woodland clearings and within young plantations.

The caterpillars feed on a number of grasses, but their main food plant in Scotland is thought to be purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea). The butterfly is designated a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) species within the Cairngorms National Park.