Home The Butterflies of Gloucestershire Species Habitats Conservation

Brown Argus

Aricia agestis
Female, 29 June 1980 20 June 1977


Unimproved grassland with Rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium) is the main habitat in the Cotswolds.

In recent years the species has quite often been recorded in other places. Some Stork's-bill (Erodium) and Crane's-bill (Geranium) species are also used as foodplants. These grow by hedges and on road verges, and in field margins, so Brown Argus may be found almost anywhere in the countryside. Agricultural set-aside fields can apparently provide good, if temporary, habitat.

Conservation Issues

Population sizes tend to vary quite noticeably over a period of years. The species is sometimes very common on its sites, but there have been periods during which it was scarce. It is unclear whether this is mainly a consequence of the weather.

Flight Period

Mid May to late June for the first generation, late July to early September for the second.


The species is now found throughout most of Gloucestershire, but it is commonest in the Cotswolds.