Brown Ringlet (Common Ringlet) Hypocysta metirius Wingspan: 31 mm
Sighted: In all months except July
Larval Food Plants: Native grasses from the Poaceae family
The Brown Ringlet has a gentle, undulating, often bumpy but usually short flight span.
In flight it appears an insignificant little butterfly but a closer look after it settles, when it opens its wings, reveals the prominent markings on the upperside of its hindwings with their large eye-spots and flash of orange. When its wings are closed two prominent eye spots are displayed on the underside of the hindwings.
The Brown Ringlet favours the edge of our rainforest and the dappled shade under our copses of paddock trees. It usually has a weak, slow flight as it flits around close to the ground, stopping frequently to bask in sunny spots but happy to also fly in shady nooks.
On warm days we find them flying from sunrise until dusk – it appears to be on the wing for more hours each day than most other butterflies. Walking along our rainforest paths early in the morning it is often the first butterfly seen. After a cool night (10C-11C) in mid April 2017 we sighted the Brown Ringlet flying in a sunny corner at 07.15 am taking full advantage of the early rays of warm sunlight.
We are finding this small butterfly is increasingly common here as more native grasses make their home on our property. In late Autumn it is our most common butterfly.
Brown Ringlet enjoying the sun in late April
This one has an extra small eye-spot on its hindwing (Mt. Coramba, near Coffs Harbour, NSW)
Brown Ringlet on our property with usual eye-spots