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Brown Ringlet (Hypocysta metirius)

Brown Ringlet
Upperside. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 29 / 09 / 2007)

Appearance: Upperside dark brown with extended orange patch and large black eyespot on the hind wings. Underside brown with orange subterminal band and black eyespots. Similar to other species in the genus Hypocysta.
Wingspan: 3 cm
Season: Several generations all around the year.
Range: Along the east coast of Australia from southern NSW up to Cape York. A few inland populations exist in NSW and QLD.
Habitat: Open forest, rainforest and woodland.


The Brown Ringlet is one of the most common butterflies along the east coast of Australia. It can be found in NSW and QLD in open forests, rainforests and woodland. The butterflies are usually easy to observe because they don’t fly very far and often rest in the sunshine with their wings open.

Two very similar species, the Orange-streaked Ringlet (H. irius) and the Grey Ringlet (H. pseudirius), can be found in eastern NSW and QLD. The orange patch on the upperside of the Orange-streaked Ringlet extends over the entire fore wings, whereas that of the Grey Ringlet is confined to the hind wings and less extended than in the case of the Brown Ringlet. In addition, most of the Brown Ringlet’s black eyespots are significantly larger than those of the Grey Ringlet.

Additional Photos

Brown Ringlet
The orange patch on the upperside extends into the central areas of the hind wing (see Grey Ringlet). (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 24 / 01 / 2010)
Brown Ringlet
The underside ground colour is orange-brown with conspicuous eyespots on the hind wing. (Blue Mountains NP, NSW, 08 / 11 / 2009)
Brown Ringlet
The butterflies often rest in the sunshine where they are easy to observe. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 28 / 01 / 2008)
Brown Ringlet
The black eyespot of the Brown Ringlet is much larger than that of the similar Grey Ringlet. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 29 / 09 / 2007)