Eastern Rock Grayling

Hipparchia syriaca (Staudinger, 1871)



A dark brown medium sized butterfly with a broad white postdiscal band. It normally rests with its wings closed, with the cryptically coloured underside blending well within the background.. Males and females are similar. It could be easily confused with H. fagi or Brintesia circe. Males can only be separated from H. fagi by examination of the Jullien by an expert, which at present has not been confirmed in Corfu. Separation from the larger Brintesia circe, which has a broken white postdiscal band on the forewing, along with two white marks along the costa of the underside. The hindwing underside has a prominent white postdiscal band, rather than a rather cryptic underside, and white discal band.

Habitat Requirements

A tree hugging butterfly that can frequently be seen doing just this in Old Perithia. 

Larval Foodplants

Yorkshire-fog Holcus lanatus


The Eastern Rock Grayling's behaviour and appearance is so similar to that of the Woodland Grayling Hipparchia fagi, that the occurance of the Eastern Rock Grayling might be masking the existance of this other species. Genetalia examination or DNA analysis are the only true ways ahead.  

*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Eastern Rock Grayling submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 05/06/2023 21/10/2023 138 days
2022 30/05/2022 05/10/2022 128 days
2021 17/06/2021 12/10/2021 117 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 38
2022 95
2021 68
Grand Total 201

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Eastern Rock Grayling (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Eastern Rock Grayling (All Data)

The chart below shows flight data by month since 1st January 2021


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Eastern Rock Grayling
  • Family: Nymphalidae (Rafinesque, 1815)
  • Sub-family: Satyrinae (Boisduval, 1833)
  • Tribe: Satyrini (Boisduval, 1833)
  • Sub-tribe: Satyrina (Boisduval, 1833)
  • Genus: Hipparchia (Fabricius, 1807)
  • Species: syriaca (Staudinger, 1871)


For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.