Images: © Per-Olof Wickman

Arctic Woodland Ringlet

Erebia polaris

  • Latin synonym: Erebia medusa ssp. polaris
  • Family: Brushfooted Butterflies – Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: Browns – Satyrinae
  • Wing span: Medium-sized, 33–42 mm (1.3–1.65 in.). Females on average larger than females.
  • Wing upper side: Dark brown. Black eyespots with red borders close to edge. Male eyespots usually small and only foremost with white centre. Female eyespots can be just as small, but larger proportion have white centre. Also red part of eyespots can form a continuous strip along edge of wing.
  • Wing underside: Same as upper side.
  • Habitat: Sandy river banks and the edges of waterside meadows that are prone to flooding.
  • Flying time: Early–mid July.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar. First winter small, second fully grown.
  • Larval foodplant: Certain grasses (Poaceae), at least sheep’s fescue (Festuca ovina).
  • Endangerment: Near threatened.

The Arctic woodland ringlet can be found in Finland around River Tenojoki and its tributaries. Like all the ringlets it has eyespots surrounded by a red or reddish yellow area. It lacks white blotches on the underside of its hind wings, making it easy to tell apart from the Lapland ringlet and the Arran brown. It always has red blotches on its hind wings, however, unlike the Arctic ringlet. The dewy ringlet has a dark lateral band on the underside of its hind wing, which the Arctic woodland ringlet does not.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same subfamily
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