Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Common Ringlet
Coenonympha tullia (Müller, 1764)


Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Satyrinae
Identification: Extremely variable geographically, with at least 4 subspecies. Wings range from dark orange-brown to pale cream. Underside of forewing usually has a small eyespot near its tip. Underside of hindwing is gray-green with a wavy white median line.
Wing Span: 1 1/3 - 1 1/2 inches (3.4 - 3.8 cm).
Life History: To seek females, males patrol above the tops of grasses with a bouncy flight. First- and fourth-stage caterpillars hibernate in mats of dead grass.
Flight: One to two broods from March-October, depending on locality.
Caterpillar Hosts: Grasses and rushes.
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Grassy, open areas in a wide variety of habitats, including fields, meadows, grasslands, and tundra.
Range: Holarctic. In North America from Alaska south through the western mountains to Baja California Norte, southeast Arizona, and central New Mexico; across southern Canada to Quebec and New England; south to Long Island. Isolated populations in Newfoundland and New Brunswick. The range is still expanding in the East.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL