Wall (Lasiommata megera)

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2016 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

10376_male_Alpes-Maritimes_9May08 32006_female_Var_3May13 34402_female_Var_28Sep13
7077_female_Var_16Jun07 6678_male_Alpes-Maritimes_8Jun07  

Megera is sometimes referred to as the Wall Brown or even the Wall Butterfly. Megera is superficially quite similar to the Large Wall (L. maera), although there are significant differences on close inspection, and these are addressed on the maera page. Megera is declining alarmingly in the UK but still reasonably common in southern France, although maera sometimes seems commoner, especially at medium and high altitudes. Megera emerges very early in the season and again in October when it seems to be quite common, in places very common, in Var. It is a difficult butterfly to photograph, I find, as it settles and opens it wings briefly two or three times, then closes them permanently.

The illustrations of megera in T&L show the female to be very similar to the male, with heavier dark brown bands breaking up the orange as in 10376. This originally led me to believe that 7077 was maera of the subspecies adrasta as they were much closer to the T&L illustrations of adrasta than to the female megera. On checking H&R and the Lafranchis ID book, the illustrations of female megera there are much closer to 7077, so I am left to consider that the T&L illustration is potentially quite misleading. There is another member of the Lasiommata genus found in France, the so-called Northern Wall Brown (L. petropolitana) which is very similar to the nominate form of maera, and almost impossible to confuse with megera.
ref sex


alt. m
10376 M

a typical male.

32006 F a female, rather orange, although perhaps not quite to the extent of 7077. 185
34402 F a female, very crisply marked, and rather fresh even at the late date. 30
7077 F

a female. It is exceptionally orange and looks nothing like the illustration in T&L.

6678 M

a male: the underside carries several suggestions of maera, notably the number of rings in each ocellus, the general light colouring, and the large unf ocellus, but the consistency of the size of the unh ocelli is a sure pointer to megera, as noted on the maera page.