Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies
British Butterflies: Species: Species Account - The Ringlet:
Aphantopus hyperantus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Ringlet egg.
  Ringlet caterpillar.
  Ringlet chrysalis
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Insecta: Lepidoptera : Family Nymphalidae: Subfamily Satyrinae : Genus Aphantopus: Species hyperantus:
The uppersides of a freshly emerged Ringlet have a velvety appearance almost black in colour... fringed with white. Two small dark brown/black eye spots occur on the forewings with another two spots occur on the hindwings level with the tip of the abdomen although these spots can vary or be completely absent in some individuals.

It is however the highly variable small eyespots/circles on the underwings which give the Ringlet its name. These spots conisist of a pale brown/tan outer ring black within, with a central white spot. They vary in number and size and may be enlarged, stretched or reduced to small white spots, sometimes lacking the black ring.

Adult butterflies will fly even in dull weather, cloudy conditions or light rain when most other butterflies are inactive. They are commonly encountered nectaring on Bramble and Wild Privet flowers.
Tall lush grassland which occurs in damp locations partial shade on heavy soils especially in woodland rides. The butterfly also occurs on commons, road verges, disused railway lines and riverbanks on clay soils.
This widespread butterfly has extended it range in England and Scotland in recent years. It is absent on the Isle of Man and Northern Scotland.
Where to see the Ringlet in the British Isles
This widespread butterfly has extended it range in England and Scotland in recent years. It is absent on the Isle of Man and Northern Scotland.
Other notes
Lifecycle chart
Flight chart
The lifecycle and flight charts should be regarded as approximate guides to the Ringlet in Britain. Specific lifecycle states, adult emergence and peak flight times vary from year to year due to variations in weather conditions.
IUCN category status 2010 5   IUCN category status 2007 34
--awaiting data-- --awaiting data--

5Fox, R., Warren, M., Brereton, T. M., Roy, D. B. & Robinson, A.
(2010) A new Red List of British Butterflies. Insect Conservation and Diversity.
Least Concern Least Concern

3Fox, R., Warren, M & Brereton, T.
(2007) New Red List of British Butterflies. Butterfly Conservation, Wareham.

4More information about IUCN categories.
UK status
Larval foodplants
Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata) False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), Common Couch (Elytrigia repens), and various species of Meadow Grass (Poa spp.) are used although it is thought that many other species of grass may also be used.
Butterflies of Britain ID Chart
Your personal guide to British Butterflies. This 8-panel laminated chart is designed for speedy butterfly identification in the field. Ideal for anyone interested in identifying butterflies, perfect for children and adults and ideal for outdoor use, laminated, shower-proof and robust. Get your copy today.
Butterflies of Britain (Laminated ID Chart).
Online store
Visit our online store for many more butterfly related books and gifts.
Population trends 1
UK Population trend 1995-2004 up by 33%
UK Population trend 1976-2004 up by 373%

1Fox, R., Asher. J., Brereton. T., Roy, D & Warren, M. (2006) The State of Butterflies in Britain & Ireland, Pices, Oxford.
UK BAP status 2
UK BAP status not listed (link)

2For information about the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, visit the JNCC web site

National Biodiversity Network Gateway
National Biodiversity Network Gateway Distribution Map

Areas in and indicate a contraction in distribution of the Ringlet except in Ireland where data is only available up until 1999.

* Records shown in outside the natural distribution may be the result of illegal or accidental releases by breeders or, depending upon the species, migrant individuals from mainland Europe.

Key to map*
= 2000 to 2010 inclusive (current distribution)
= records from 1950 to 1999 inclusive
= records from 1900 to 1949 inclusive
Records prior to 1st January 1900 are not shown.

The NBN Gateway records are shown on the map right. (See terms and conditions).

More data is available on the Ringlet on the NBN Gateway web site.
Powered by NBN Gateway.
For full details of books and reports mentioned on this web site, view the references page.

Find out more online*
Ringlet can be found on Peter Eeles excellent UK Butterflies web site.
Ringlet can be found on Matt Rowlings excellent European Butterflies web site.

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Photographs of the Ringlet
Image ID BB1816 - Ringlet - © Steven Cheshire
Ringlet female (imago)
BB1816 ©
Image ID BB1784 - Ringlet - © Steven Cheshire
Ringlet male and female (imago)
BB1784 ©
Image ID BB1783 - Ringlet - © Steven Cheshire
Ringlet male and female (imago)
BB1783 ©
Image ID BB1747 - Ringlet - © Steven Cheshire
Ringlet (imago)
BB1747 ©
Image ID BB1673 - Ringlet - © Debbie Cheshire
Ringlet male (imago)
BB1673 ©
Image ID BB1672 - Ringlet - © Debbie Cheshire
Ringlet male (imago)
BB1672 ©
Image ID BB1671 - Ringlet - © Debbie Cheshire
Ringlet male (imago)
BB1671 ©
Image ID BB1670 - Ringlet - © Debbie Cheshire
Ringlet male (imago)
BB1670 ©
Image ID BB1669 - Ringlet - © Debbie Cheshire
Ringlet male (imago)
BB1669 ©
Image ID BB912 - Ringlet - © Steven Cheshire
Ringlet unknown (imago)
BB912 ©
There are 17 photographs of the Ringlet in our stock photo library.
View more photographs of the Ringlet as a thumbnail gallery or as a slideshow.
Aberrations and forms
There are 11 named aberrant forms of the Ringlet currently listed. Find out more about aberrants here.

ab. arete - Müller 1764
ab. brunnea - Tutt 1910
ab. cabeaui - Pionneau 1929
ab. chrysophalarus - Collier 1967
ab. crassipuncta - Burkhardt 1948
ab. infra-pallida - Lempke 1935
ab. lanceolata - Shipp 1894
ab. marpurgensis - Strand 1919
ab. obsoleta - Tutt 1896
ab. pallens - Schultz 1908
ab. pseudoocellatus - Bergman 1952