Hipparchia semelePhotoWingspan: Male 55mm, female 60mm 

The cryptic camouflage of our largest brown butterfly can make the Grayling almost invisible once it has settled on bare ground or a tree trunk. This butterfly always rests with its wings closed so the upperwings are rarely observed. The underside of the hind wings are a smoky mottled brown with grey. The underside of the forewings are a mix of warm browns with white centred black eye-spot at the apex. Shortly after settling the forewing will be slid behind the hindwing hiding the eye-spot making it even less conspicuous.

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Flight Period
Mid-July to early September. 

Larval Food plants
Bristle Bent (Agrostis curtisii)
Early Hair-grass (Aira praecox)
Red Fescue (Festuca rubra)
Sheep's-fescue (Festuca ovina)
Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) 

Heathland, and other dry sites with sparse vegetation. 

Wiltshire Status
Resident, rare and very local. 

Wiltshire Sites
Enford Down   DTE (C) (Normally Closed to the Public)
DTE = Defence Training Estate (Salisbury Plain) 

Earliest sightings
Earliest county record 10th July 1984 

Latest county record
27th September 1950