Butterflies of Europe
Great Banded Grayling
Brintesia circe   FABRICIUS, 1775
subfamily - SATYRINAE
subtribe -
Brintesia circe, Hor valley, Hungary Peter Bruce-Jones
Brintesia is a genus which could be regarded as a taxonomical nightmare. Some workers regard it as comprising of a single species circe. Others include within it those taxa normally placed in Erites, Chazara and Kanetisa, which together swell the total number to 89 valid species. Here I follow the traditional treatment in which these are distinct genera, with circe as the sole Brintesia species.

Brintesia circe is a widespread and common species found across southern Europe and east to Iran and the foothills of the Himalayas.

This species can be found in almost any dry grassy habitat ranging from coastal dunes to sub-alpine hay meadows and pastures, but is most abundant on plains and plateaux where there are extensive areas of hot open ground where grasses grow sparsely. It occurs at elevations between sea level and about 1800m.
The eggs are dropped randomly over grasses while the female is in flight. The larva is crepuscular in behaviour, feeding on Festuca, Bromus, Sesleria, Lolium and Anthoxanthum ( Poaceae ), When small the larva eats the finer grasses, and progresses to coarser species as it matures. The fully grown larva is pale brown with a series of fine paler and darker dorsal and lateral lines. Pupation takes place in a shallow depression in the soil, usually in the shade of a bush. The pupa is plump, smooth and reddish in colour.
Adult behaviour

Males commonly imbibe mineralised moisture from damp patches of ground. Both sexes nectar at Origanum, Thymus and a wide variety of other flower species. They also visit sap runs on trees.


Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution



Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles


Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia


Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books



Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images






All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host