Map

Araschnia levana


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Spring brood (form levana)

spring brood map

Switzerland, April 2014

spring brood map, Araschnia levana

Switzerland, April 2014

Spring brood map, Araschnia levana

Switzerland, April 2014

Spring brood map, Araschnia levana

Switzerland, April 2014

Summer brood (form prorsa)



Switzerland, August 2013

France, August 2008

France, August 2008

Val d'Aran, July 2005

Val d'Aran, July 2005

Val d'Aran, July 2005



Spring, nearly 30 years ago ...


Summer, over 30 years ago ...

This butterfly is remarkable for its seasonal dimorphism. The spring (levana) and summer (prorsa) forms are so different in appearance they could quite easily be taken  for different species. I see the summer form much more often because the map does not fly near me and I only see it when I travel - which is mainly later in the season. In April 2014 I made a special effort to go to the Jura and photograph the spring form!

The eggs are laid on nettles in long strings, said to resemble the hanging flowers of nettles. I have yet to find these - despite watching females dithering around in nettle patches looking as if they were going to do something.

Maps are common in much of central and Eastern Europe. I have seen them all over France and in the Pyrenees, as well as further East, in Hungary, and of course in Switzerland.