Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Species Coenonympha tullia - Common Ringlet - Hodges#4582

Inornate Ringlet - Coenonympha tullia Common ringlet - Coenonympha tullia Unknown, but may be a Duskywing - Coenonympha tullia Ringlet Butterfly - Coenonympha tullia Common Ringlet - Coenonympha tullia SCREECH - Coenonympha tullia Moth? - Coenonympha tullia Common Ringlet - Coenonympha tullia
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)
Subfamily Satyrinae (Satyrs, Morphos and Owls)
Tribe Satyrini (Alpines, Arctics, Nymphs and Satyrs)
Genus Coenonympha (Ringlets)
Species tullia (Common Ringlet - Hodges#4582)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Large Heath
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described in 1764 by Otto_Friedrich_Müller as Papilio nymphalis tullia
Coenonympha tullia
wingspan 27-39 mm
Highly variable in color and number of eye-spots, between and within subspecies and even local populations; the most widespread subspecies (C. t. inornata) varies from light buff to orange-brown to greyish-brown above, with hindwings and outer half of forewings often darker than basal part of forewings. Usually there are no upperside markings, just occasionally a single faint ring near the forewing apex. On the underside, basal half of forewing is same color as upperside, and basal half of hindwing is dark gray. Outer half of both wings is light gray, and both wings are divided by an irregular pale band. About 60 per cent of specimens have a distinct pale-bordered black spot with a silver pupil near the forewing apex. (adapted from description at CBIF; see source for description and range of subspecies in Canada)
Holarctic. In North America, absent from Nova Scotia, Mississippi basin, midsouthern and southeastern United States, but present everywhere else, including Alaska and the Canadian arctic. In the Southwest primarily limited to mountains, but found in lowlands west from Sierra Nevada in California. Reaches Mexico in Baja California.
wide variety of grassy habitats, including roadsides, woodland edges and clearings, prairies, bogs, and arctic and alpine taiga and tundra
adults fly from May to July in the north, May to September at mid-latitudes, March to October in the south
larvae feed on many species of grasses
Life Cycle
Mostly one generation per year; two or more generations per year southward at lower elevations; overwinters as a third or fourth instar larva in thick mats of dead grass. Where multiple broods occur, the spring and summer broods often look different, with one often being darker and more maculate than the other.
Up to 20 subspecies are recognized in North America, and more, including the nominate C. tullia tullia, in Eurasia. The most widespread subspecies in eastern North America is C. t. inornata, often called Inornate Ringlet.
Internet References
pinned adult images plus description, biology, distribution, etc. (Butterflies of Canada; CBIF)
pinned adult images plus description, biology, and US distribution map. (Butterflies & Skippers of North America;
live adult images and other info (Massachusetts Butterfly Club)
Butterflies and Moths of North America species account and range map
Fauna insectorum fridrichsdalina, p.36    Müller's original description of the species (In Latin).