Northern Brown Argus
  Aricia artaxerxes

Northern Brown Argus, upperside.
Photograph by Tony Mainwood.

Northern Brown Argus, underside.
Photograph by Tony Mainwood.


The upperside of the wings is dark brown with a white spot on the forewings. There are orange lunules near the outer wing margins. Another species which may be overlooked, as it may be confused with a female Common Blue.


Single brooded, hibernating as larva. Larva recommences feeding in March or April, and pupates in late May or early June.


The adult's appearance in the north tends to occur in early July rather than June, but this can be influenced by weather. Although numbers peak in July, look out for it from late June to early August.


The distribution tends to follow that of its larval foodplant, common rock-rose, reaching its northerly limit in SE Sutherland. Nowadays less common on the southern coast of the Moray Firth, although it still occurs on limestone around Tomintoul.