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Speckled wood

Speckled wood

The speckled wood is common throughout the New Forest and the rest of Hampshire. It is widespread and common in England, lowland Wales and Ireland, but absent from much of Scotland except the wooded west and north coasts.

The speckled wood is a woodland butterfly and is commonly seen in sunlit glades or dappled shade along rides or even deep in a wood. They will also be found along lanes, hedgerows and among scrub, but never right out in the open. Unusually for butterflies, the speckled wood does not often feed on flowers, but takes honeydew which aphids produce in the treetops. They will consume nectar on flowers early and late in the year when aphid activity is low.

Finding speckled woods is very easy. They can be found in almost any area with some trees; if you visit an area of woodland on a sunny day and wander around rides and tracks you are bound to find some. The adults fly at any time from spring till autumn; late April, August and September are the best months to look.

ID Tip

ID Tip

The speckled wood is the only British butterfly that is brown with large creamy spots all over the wings.

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of August.'

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