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Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)

On this page, we have made available all the information we have for this species

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Picture of Meadow Brown
© Eddie John

The Meadow Brown is a very common species of open grassland occurring in all but the most highly managed grasslands and those at high altitude. Medium-leaved grasses seem to be preferred as larval hostplants. (For further details on this species see

Family : Nymphalidae

Status : Stable

Status details :
Status since 1976 is Stable with a decrease of -2.8%
Status over the last 20 years is Stable with a decrease of -21.6%
Status over the last 10 years is Stable with a increase of 26%

Log collated index plot

Species Log Collated Index Plot

This chart shows the index of abundance (LCI = Log Collated Index) over time. It shows fluctuations in populations from year to year, and is scaled so that the average index over the whole series is equal to 2 (horizontal line). For greater detail about how this index is derived, click on the green question mark above.

Trend description :
The long-term trend for this species is positive but not significant. It is one of the most widespread butterflies on UKBMS transects being recorded on nearly 1,400 different sites since monitoring began. It is the most abundant butterfly recorded on transects across the UK with the greatest total counts of any species in every year since 1978. However, more recently it has shown a decline, though not significant, most likely linked to a run of years where the weather has been poor during the peak of this species' flight period. Fluctuations in abundance over time are large and appear to follow a cyclic pattern of periods of increase followed by periods of decline indicating an interaction with parasitoids.

This map shows the distribution between 1995 and 2016. Data is derived from the Butterflies for the New Millenium dataset via the NBN Gateway

Phenology plot
Species Phenology Plot

Phenology plot

This chart shows the average number of butterflies seen on transects between Arpil and October across all sites (fitted values from a Generalised Additive Model). The blue line gives average counts over the full BMS series (1976 to date) and the red line gives the average for the last year.

Species abundance map


This map shows symbols for the mean abundance at transect sites, with the colour of the symbol reflecting the level of abundance. Means are over all years. Grey background squares are the occupied cells as shown by the Butterflies for the New Millenium over the previous ten year period.


In total, Meadow Brown has been recorded from 919 transects in the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Of these, annual indices of abundance have been calculated from 1069 sites, with an average index of 388 individuals per site.

For 484 of these sites, Meadow Brown has been recorded well enough to calculate annual indices of abundance in more years, allowing trends to be calculated.

In 2018, 321872 individuals were recorded from 651 sites, producing annual indices at 524 of these.

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is organized and funded by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme.