One of 14 Ontario species in the Satyr and Wood-Nymph subfamily (Satyrinae). Satyrinae usually have a few eye spots towards the outer margin of their wings. The Common Ringlet has 20 subspecies recognized in North America and eight in Canada. Only one, the most widespread inornata occurs in Ontario. It can vary significantly in color and in the number of eyespots. C. tullia was often listed as the Inornate Ringlet (Coenonympha inornata) in older field guides.|
Identification: A small butterfly. Essentially uniform coloured above, which varies from light buff to orange brown, to greyish brown. In about 60 per cent of specimens there is a small eye spot of concentric black and white rings near the underside forewing tips. The inner half of the underside forewing is the same colour as the top and both underside wings are divided by an irregular pale band. Wingspan: 27-39 mm.
Life History: One brood, however in southern Ontario and Québec there is a partial second generation that occurs as far north as the Ottawa River. Hibernates as a mature larva. Larvae are green, olive, or brown with a dark stripe on the back and alternating dark and light stripes on the side; head is tan or green and there are two pink tails. Adults have a weak, wandering, low level, bouncing flight which makes them easy to see and identify.
Habitat and Range: Grassy habitats such as roadsides, woodland edges and clearings, bogs, prairies, alpine and arctic ta´ga and tundra. C. tullia is widespread in most of Ontario as far north as Hudson Bay, and common to abundant in the southern parts of the province, including the Ottawa District. It occurs in all provinces and territories except Nova Scotia and is rare in Prince Edward Island.
Host Plants: Grasses such as Blue Grass (Poa pratensis) and needlegrass (Stipa spp.).
Flight Period: Late May to early July or late July further north. In southern Ontario and Québec also from mid-August to mid-September.
Similar Species: None in Ontario