This brown butterfly has a variable number of small, yellow-rimmed eye-spots (the “ringlets”), but when it emerges its wings are velvety-black with white borders. The greyish caterpillar has a long dark stripe along the length of its back. Look for the butterflies on the edges of Otley’s woods, or in clearings in the Chevin forest. They have a penchant for blackberry bushes. Ringlets have a distinctive, bobbing flight, and can be seen even on those dull Otley days when most other butterflies aren’t up for it. Their dark colouring enables them to warm up quickly. The females drop their eggs as they fly low and slow over damp, grassy areas, like delicate, creative little bombers continuing the cycle of life.
By Neil Griffin Photo by Joyce Clerk