Aphantopus hyperantus | Ringlet | Fáinneog

Pre 2017

2017 - 2021


Conservation status

Ireland: Least Concern (Regan et al., 2010)
Europe: Least Concern (van Swaay et al., 2010)
Climate risk category: High Climate Change Risk; present distribution in Europe can be explained by climate (Settele et al., 2008)

Legal status

The Ringlet is not afforded legal protection in Ireland.

Native status


Species Biology


Key identification features include:

  • Medium size, wingspan: 42 - 52 mm
  • Uniform dark brown colour
  • Series of haloed eye-spots on the underside of the fore- and hindwings


Generalist, found on: unimproved dry grassland, wet grassland, improved grassland, field margins and urban parks. The adults occur in sheltered grassy situations, more especially in long grass. After dark they roost on grass stems (Bond & Gittings, 2008).

Flight period

Univoltine: from June to August.

Life cycle

Eggs, which are non-adhesive, are laid singly and at random around the base of the foodplant. The larva feeds on grass blades, hiding by day at the base of a tussock, from late August until entering diapause in October, recommencing feeding in March, when the feed only nocturnally. Feeding may, however, also occasionally take place in mild weather in winter. Pupation occurs in early June, unattached, on or near the ground on a tussock in a slight cocoon surrounded by a few strands of silk (Bond & Gittings, 2008).

Food plants

Generalists, in Ireland larvae primarily feed on Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa), but Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), Common Couch (Elytrigia repens), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), and Meadow-grasses (various) (Poa spp.) may also be used.

Flowers visited

Generalists, adult nectar sources include: Bramble (Rubus fruticosus), Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica), Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Marjoram (Origanum vulgare), Privet (Ligustrum vulgare), Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) and Thistles (Cirsium spp. and Carduus spp.).


World distribution(GBIF)

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2021

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.



Bond, K.G.M. and Gittings, T. 2008. Database of Irish Lepidoptera. 1 - Macrohabitats, microsites and traits of Noctuidae and butterflies. Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 35. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland.

Regan, E.C., Nelson, B., Aldwell, B., Bertrand, C., Bond, K., Harding, J., Nash, D., Nixon, D. and Wilson, C.J. 2010. Ireland Red List No. 4 – Butterflies. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland.

Settele, J., Kudrna, O., Harpke, A., Kühn, I., Van Swaay, C., Verovnik, R., Warren, M.S., Wiemers, M., Hanspach, J., Hickler, T. and Kühn, E. 2008. Climatic risk atlas of European butterflies. Sofia-Moscow: Pensoft.

Van Swaay, C., Cuttelod, A., Collins, S., Maes, D., López Munguira, M., Šašic, M., Settele, J., Verovnik, R., Verstrael, T., Warren, M., Wiemers, M. and Wynhof, I. 2010. European Red List of Butterflies. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.