Meadow Brown

Maniola jurtina


The Meadow Brown is one of the commonest grassland butterflies, on the wing in the summer, from June to September. It also occurs in parks, gardens and cemeteries. The Meadow Brown is a medium-sized butterfly that flies even in dull weather when other butterflies are inactive. Adults can be seen in large numbers, flying low over the grass and flowers. Caterpillars feed on a variety of grasses such as fescues, bents and meadow-grasses.

How to identify

The Meadow Brown is mainly brown with washed-out orange patches on the forewings. The best way to identify the 'brown' butterflies is by looking at the eyespots on their wings. The combination of its relatively large size, orange patches on the forewings only, one eyespot on the forewing and none at all on the hindwings, is unique to the Meadow Brown. The Meadow Brown also has only one small white 'pupil' in the eyespots, instead of two like the Gatekeeper.

Where to find it

Found throughout the country.


When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and woodland edge habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of butterflies, including the Meadow Brown. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways grasslands are kept in good condition - supporting invertebrates and, in turn, the larger animals that prey on them. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Meadow Brown
Latin name
Maniola jurtina
Butterflies and moths
Wingspan: 4-6cm
Conservation status