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British Speckled Wood Butterflies
The average wingspan of both males and females is 5.1 cm (2 in), although males tend to be slightly smaller than females. Furthermore, males possess a row of greyish-brown scent scales of their forewings that is absent in the females. Females have brighter and more distinct markings than males.The subspecies P. a. tircis is brown with pale yellow or cream spots and darker upperwing eyespots. The subspecies P. a. aegeria has a more orange background and the hindwing underside eyespots are reddish brown rather than black or dark gray. The two forms gradually intergrade into each other. Subspecies P. a. oblita is a darker brown, often approaching black with white rather than cream spots. The underside of its hindwings has a marginal pale purple band and a row of conspicuous white spots. The spots of subspecies P. a. insula are a tawny orange rather than a cream color. The underside of the forewings has patches of pale orange, and the underside of the hindwing has a purple tinged band. Although there is considerable variation with each subspecies, identification of the different subspecies is manageable.
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