This series explores some of the amazing flora and fauna that the BTC is working to protect by acquiring and stewarding land along the Niagara Escarpment.

Look for signs of these species on your next hike.

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This month's Niagara Escarpment species:

Common Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia)


Common Ringlet

Photo: :  B.Popelier (2015)

Did You Know? 

It is also called the Large Heath butterfly.


Flutter along the ground with a weak, bouncy flight.


Can have 1 or 2 broods per year.




Habitat - Wide open areas such as fields, lawns, ditches and meadows.

 Size - Average wingspan - 3.4 cm

Range - Found across Canada, United States and Eurasia.

Status - S5, Secure

Com Ring




A small butterfly with variable markings across its range. In Ontario typically have grayish-brown wing undersides with an orange section and a pale band. Most have a dark eyespot near the top of the wing. Upperside is rarely seen but is pale to darker orange-brown with no markings. Caterpillars are also variable being green, olive or brown with dark and light stripes along the body.



 Photo:B.Popelier (2015)

Interesting Facts

Caterpillars food plant is usually Kentucky Bluegrass but other grasses may be used as well.

In the first half of the twentieth century this species did not occur in southwestern Ontario but its range greatly expanded and it is found throughout Ontario.

There are up to 20 sub-species recognized in North America with even more in Eurasia. Canada has 7 sub-species and all have different colour schemes.

Common Ringlets on the Niagara Escarpment

The Bruce Trail Conservancy is continually acquiring and protecting land along the Niagara Escarpment, often including land that contains open meadows and grasslands to support the Common Ringlet. Many of the wildflowers contained on Bruce Trail managed properties also provide a much needed food source for many other species of pollinating insects.