Wall (Lasiommata megera)
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2023 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
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.
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.
a typical male.
|a male, quite dark and boldly marked. It seems that opportunities to photograph the male upperside are notably less frequent than for the female.
|a female, rather orange, although perhaps not quite to the extent of 7077.
|a female, very crisply marked, and rather fresh even at the late date.
a female. It is exceptionally orange and looks nothing like the illustration in T&L.
|a female, very extensive orange, and very visually appealing.
|a male underside, a poor photograph but it does illustrate the dark and strongly crescented unh submarginal marks.
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.
|a male underside. Opportunities for megera undersides don't seem to present themselves very often, and when they do it is usually on the ground and difficult to photograph.
|a female underside, very well camouflaged in the long grass. I originally had 49501 on the maera page, but I had not given enough attention to the ocelli clue (see maera page) and had just assumed it was maera because they were flying at that location. I subsequently learnt of the clue relating to the submarginal band (also see maera page), which surely confirmed (if confirmation was needed) that 49501 is megera. Thanks to Pete Smith for spotting this error.