The Small Heath always rests and feeds with it's wings closed, thus making it difficult to ever view the upperwings. The upperwings are an orange-brown ground colour with a narrow grey margin, it also has a small dark eye spot at the tip. The underwings is largely orange-brown with a marbled grey-brown hindwing. The Small Heath is an inconspicuous butterfly that flies only in sunshine and rarely settles more than a metre above the ground. Its wings are always kept closed when at rest. The number of broods and the flight periods are variable and adults may be seen continuously from late April to September on some sites in southern England. This relatively widespread butterfly can occupy a range of habitat types and, although its range has changed little, many colonies have disappeared in recent decades.
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Widespread in Britain and Ireland.
This species occurs on grassland where there are fine grasses, especially in dry, well-drained situations where the sward is short and sparse. The largest colonies occur on downland, heathland, and coastal dunes. Smaller populations occur in many other locations including roadside verges, waste ground, woodland rides and glades, moorland, and parkland.
Fine grasses, especially fescues, meadow-grasses, and bents.
UK BAP status: Priority Species (for research only) Butterfly Conservation priority: high European threat status: not threatened