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Forest Brown (Argynnina cyrila)

Forest Brown
Upperside. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 26 / 09 / 2010)

Appearance: Upperside and fore wing underside dark brown with orange patches and several dark eyespots. Hind wing underside grey-brown marbled.
Wingspan: 3.5 cm
Season: 1 generation from late winter until early summer.
Range: South-eastern Australia, from southern and eastern VIC across the ACT and eastern NSW into south-eastern QLD.
Habitat: Eucalypt forest and temperate rainforest from the coast up to about 1500 m in the mountains.


The Forest Brown is a common species in forests of south-eastern Australia. It is widespread across southern, central, and eastern VIC, but the distribution becomes more scattered in the north along the mountains of north-eastern NSW and south-eastern QLD. The Forest Brown is a typical spring species, and in Sydney the butterflies are typically found from late winter until mid spring. As with most species in the Satyridae family, they are very alert and difficult to approach.

Although there are several superficially similar species, the Forest Brown can be easily distinguished by the characteristic pattern of brown and orange patches on the both sides of the wings. In addition, the orange colour on the fore wings is somewhat lighter than on the hind wings.

Additional Photos

Forest Brown
The upperside (here a female) is dark brown with numerous orange patches. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 30 / 08 / 2009)
Forest Brown
Underside of a female. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 30 / 08 / 2009)
Forest Brown
The butterflies often rest on exposed branches or leaves. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 29 / 09 / 2007)