30 Butterfly Species in Austria
Austria is home to a diverse range of beautiful butterfly species, with its diverse habitats providing the perfect environment for them to thrive.
With over 200 species in its territory, this article will focus on 30 of the most spectacular butterflies you can encounter in the Austrian countryside.
Whether you are a lepidopterist or simply an admirer of these delicate creatures, read on to discover and appreciate the stunning butterflies of Austria.
Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
The Swallowtail butterfly is one of the most alluring species found in Austria. This vibrant butterfly belongs to the family of Papilionidae.
Let’s explore some fascinating facts about the Swallowtail:
- Habitat: They prefer open areas, meadows, hillsides or even gardens, while avoiding dense forests. Swallowtails can be found in Austria mostly at altitudes below 1,000 meters.
- Appearance: Swallowtails have stunning colors, with a combination of yellow and black, blue, and red markings. Their unique tail-like hindwing extensions give them their name.
- Size: With a wingspan between 50 and 90 millimeters, Swallowtails are among the larger butterflies found in Austria.
- Diet: Adult Swallowtails feed on nectar from various plants, including thistles, wild carrots, and violets.
- Reproduction: Females lay 200 to 600 spherical eggs on a host plant, preferably on umbellifers.
- Lifespan: Swallowtails typically have a lifespan of 3 to 4 weeks, depending on factors like temperature and availability of food.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars of Swallowtails feed primarily on umbellifers like fennel, wild carrots, and wild parsnips.
Austrians are proud of the Swallowtail butterfly, and for good reason – its beauty is exquisite. Keep an eye out for them on your next walk through the Austrian countryside!
Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius)
The Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) is an enchanting butterfly species found in Austria.
This magnificent creature is known for its remarkable beauty and grace. You can find these butterflies in various habitats across the country.
Let’s explore some fascinating facts about the Scarce Swallowtail:
- Habitat: They predominantly reside in woodland areas, lush meadows, and the edges of forests.
- Appearance: Boasting a lovely combination of white and yellow shades, they exhibit black markings, a red eye-spot, and bluish tail streamers.
- Size: Their wingspan ranges from 65 to 80 millimeters, making them an impressive sight to behold.
- Diet: As adults, Scarce Swallowtails primarily feed on nectar from flowers, such as thistles and lilacs.
- Reproduction: Mating occurs in late spring, after which females lay their eggs on host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult butterflies live for about two to three weeks during the summer season.
- Host Plants: Blackthorn, hawthorn, and various fruit trees serve as host plants for their larvae, providing the necessary nutrition for their development.
Now that you’re familiar with the captivating Scarce Swallowtail, keep an eye out for this stunning creature during your visits to Austria’s picturesque landscapes!
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi)
The Black-veined White is a striking butterfly species commonly found in Austria.
This elegant insect has a unique appearance and plays an essential role in maintaining the plant ecology in its habitat.
Let’s take a closer look at the features of the Black-veined White:
- Habitat: These butterflies primarily inhabit meadows, orchards, and woodland clearings where their host plants thrive.
- Appearance: The butterfly’s wings have a white background with a beautiful pattern of black veins, giving them their name.
- Size: The Black-veined White displays a wingspan of about 51-70mm, making them a medium-sized butterfly species.
- Diet: These butterflies feed on nectar from flowers, particularly those of the Apiaceae and Dipsacaceae families.
- Reproduction: Mating occurs in late spring, and females lay eggs on the leaves of host plants where caterpillars will feed.
- Lifespan: Like most butterfly species, they have a short life span of around 2-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars of the Black-veined White feed on various plants, especially from the Rosaceae family, such as hawthorn, rowan, and wild cherry trees.
The Black-veined White is a fascinating and charming butterfly species that adds beauty and diversity to the Austrian landscape.
Small White (Pieris rapae)
The Small White butterfly is one of the most common and widespread butterfly species in Austria.
These beautiful creatures can be found in various habitats and are a delight to observe.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the fascinating aspects of the Small White butterfly:
- Habitat: The Small White thrives in gardens, meadows, countryside, urban areas, and various other habitats where their host plants can be found.
- Appearance: These butterflies exhibit white wings with black tips on the forewings and one to two black spots on each wing.
- Size: Their size ranges from 3.5 to 5 centimeters, making them relatively small compared to other butterfly species.
- Diet: As adults, they mainly feed on nectar from various flowers like thistles, dandelions, and clovers.
- Reproduction: Small Whites lay their pale yellow eggs on leaves and stems of plants belonging to the Brassicaceae family.
- Lifespan: The average lifespan of a Small White butterfly is about 3 to 4 weeks.
- Host Plants: Some common host plants for Small White caterpillars include cabbage, broccoli, and kale, which is why they are sometimes referred to as ‘Cabbage Whites.’
By understanding these fascinating aspects of the Small White butterfly, you can appreciate their beauty and significance in the environment all the more.
Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Large White, also known as Pieris brassicae, is a well-known and widespread butterfly species in Austria.
They are often found in gardens and open spaces, where they are notorious for being a pest to common vegetables.
Let’s delve deeper into this species’ characteristics:
- Habitat: Gardens, meadows, and other open spaces in various altitudes throughout Austria
- Appearance: White wings with powdery black spots and black wingtips, with some variations in spot size and location
- Size: Wingspan of approximately 50-60 millimeters
- Diet: Feeds on nectar from various plants, while its caterpillars are herbivorous and feed on cabbage plants
- Reproduction: Two to three broods per year, producing 150-200 eggs on cabbage leaves
- Lifespan: Adults live for approximately two weeks, whereas caterpillars take around 25-35 days before they pupate
- Host Plants: Mainly cabbage plants, including cabbage, kale, broccolini, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts
Significantly, their abundance in gardens has made them notorious as a pest among gardeners. Despite this, their fluttering display adds beauty to Austrian gardens and landscapes.
Green-veined White (Pieris napi)
The Green-veined White butterfly is a captivating species that can be found in Austria.
Get to know more about this charming creature with the following facts:
- Habitat: These butterflies typically inhabit meadows, woodland clearings, and gardens, providing a picturesque sight for nature enthusiasts.
- Appearance: The adults boast intricate green veins on their underwings, giving them their unique name.
- Size: Their wingspan varies from 4 to 5 centimeters, making them easy to spot among the foliage.
- Diet: As with most butterflies, the Green-veined White primarily feeds on nectar from various flowers.
- Reproduction: During mating season, these butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves of host plants, where their caterpillars will eventually feed.
- Lifespan: The adults live for about two to three weeks, fluttering gracefully from one spot to another.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars primarily feed on cruciferous plants, such as mustard or cress, as well as watercress and other aquatic habitats.
By appreciating the details of the Green-veined White’s life, you can develop a deeper understanding of this beautiful butterfly species found in Austria.
Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
The Orange-tip is a stunning butterfly species that can be found in Austria.
As one of the most recognizable and charming species, it is a joy to see these delicate creatures fluttering through the countryside.
Let’s explore some fascinating facts about the Orange-tip butterfly:
- Habitat: Orange-tips thrive in various habitats such as meadows, woodland clearings, hedgerows, and riverbanks.
- Appearance: They are named for the bright orange tips on the forewings of the males, while females have white or grayish wingtips. Both sexes have white wings with dappled green underwings providing camouflage.
- Size: These butterflies have a wingspan of about 45-55 mm.
- Diet: Adult Orange-tips feed on nectar, while their caterpillars feast on plants like garlic mustard and lady’s smock.
- Reproduction: Males often patrol areas to find females for mating. Females lay their eggs singly on host plants.
- Lifespan: Their adult life is relatively short, with most living for about two to four weeks.
- Host Plants: Orange-tip caterpillars mainly feed on plants within the Brassicaceae family, such as garlic mustard, lady’s smock, and hedge mustard.
As you enjoy the beauty of Austria’s landscapes, keep an eye out for the vibrant Orange-tip butterfly and appreciate the unique contribution it makes to the country’s biodiversity.
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
The Brimstone butterfly, scientifically known as Gonepteryx rhamni, is one of the most widespread and easy-to-spot butterflies in Austria.
Below, I’ve provided some key highlights about this captivating butterfly species:
- Habitat: Found primarily in open woodlands, hedgerows, and grassy areas rich in flora.
- Appearance: Males boast bright yellow wings, while the females display a more pale, greenish hue, rendering them near-invisible on leaves.
- Size: The Brimstone has a wingspan ranging from 50-75 mm, making it a medium-sized butterfly.
- Diet: Adult Brimstones primarily feed on nectar from flowers, especially those of the butterfly bush.
- Reproduction: Mating and egg-laying take place in spring, with females targeting the upper side of host plants’ leaves for depositing their eggs.
- Lifespan: Surprisingly, adult Brimstones can live up to 13 months, allowing them to hibernate during the winter months.
- Host Plants: The larval stage of the Brimstone relies on buckthorn (Rhamnus) and alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus) for sustenance and growth.
With its eye-catching appearance and fascinating life cycle, the Brimstone butterfly is a must-see for anyone exploring the diverse butterfly species endemic to Austria.
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis)
The Wood White is a delightful little butterfly that you can spot in Austria.
Here are some highlights to help you get to know this charming species a bit better:
- Habitat: Wood White butterflies prefer open woodland areas, forest clearings, and meadows rich in flowers, especially violet and bird’s-foot trefoil.
- Appearance: These delicate butterflies have a pale-white color on their upper wings with a subtle, grayish veining pattern, and slightly rounded forewings.
- Size: With a wingspan of about 3.8 – 4.4 cm, the Wood White is relatively small in size compared to other butterflies.
- Diet: Like many butterflies, Wood Whites feed on nectar from various plants, including violets, bird’s-foot trefoil, and wild thyme.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs singly on the underside of host plant leaves, especially violet and bird’s-foot trefoil. The eggs take about 10 days to hatch.
- Lifespan: The adult Wood White butterfly typically has a lifespan of two to three weeks during the summer months.
- Host Plants: The caterpillar stage of Wood Whites are selective in their diet, feeding on leaves of host plants such as violet and bird’s-foot trefoil.
Next time you’re in Austria, make sure to keep an eye out for the Wood White butterfly. Its delicate appearance and graceful flight make it a lovely sight to behold.
Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)
The Green Hairstreak is a fascinating butterfly species that can be found in various parts of Austria. It is a small and elusive creature that often goes unnoticed due to its excellent camouflage.
In this section, you will learn more about this butterfly’s characteristics and behaviors:
- Habitat: Found in a wide range of habitats, including meadows, woodland clearings, and heathlands.
- Appearance: Unique among butterflies, it has green-colored upper wings for camouflage. The underside of the wings display a pattern of white streaks and spots.
- Size: Small and delicate, the wingspan measures between 25-30mm.
- Diet: As a caterpillar, it feeds on different species of plants. Adult butterflies primarily feed on nectar from flowers.
- Reproduction: Males perch on plants, waiting for females to mate with. Females lay eggs on the underside of leaves.
- Lifespan: Adults live around three weeks during their flight period in spring.
- Host Plants: Larvae feed on a variety of plants, including gorse, broom, and rock-rose.
Remember to keep an eye out for these intriguing little butterflies when exploring the Austrian countryside.
Their charming appearance and unique habits make them a favorite amongst butterfly enthusiasts.
Purple Hairstreak (Favonius quercus)
The Purple Hairstreak is a fascinating butterfly species native to Austria. Typically found in oak tree forests, this small yet remarkable butterfly is a delight to observe.
Here’s a quick overview of some key aspects of the Purple Hairstreak:
- Habitat: Oak woodlands, parklands, and gardens with oak trees.
- Appearance: Males have purple iridescent color on their upper wings, while females have a brown upper wing with purple iridescence on the outer edges. Both sexes have gray underwings with a white streak.
- Size: Quite small, with a wingspan of around 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 inches).
- Diet: Adults feed mainly on honeydew secreted by aphids found on oak tree leaves. They occasionally consume nectar from flowers like thistles, brambles, and ivy.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs on young oak tree buds, where the caterpillars feed during their development.
- Lifespan: Adults generally live for about 2-3 weeks in the summer months.
- Host Plants: Predominantly oak trees (Quercus spp.), specifically the leaves and buds where they lay their eggs and caterpillars feed.
Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium ilicis)
Ilex hairstreak is a beautiful butterfly species found mainly in Austria.
With its striking appearance, residents and tourists alike are fascinated by its presence.
Let’s explore some interesting facts about this butterfly:
- Habitat: They can be found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, scrublands, and grasslands with oak trees.
- Appearance: Ilex Hairstreaks have a brown color with distinct orange spots on the wings and unique white streaks on the underside that form a so-called ‘hairstreak.’
- Size: These butterflies have a wingspan of approximately 25 to 35 millimeters.
- Diet: As adults, they feed on flower nectar, particularly from oak tree flowers and bramble blossoms.
- Reproduction: Males establish territories around oak trees during the breeding season and wait for the females to mate. The eggs are laid on the oak leaves.
- Lifespan: The Ilex Hairstreak has a single generation per year. Adults typically fly from June to August.
- Host Plants: The primary host plant for the Ilex Hairstreak is the oak tree, particularly the evergreen (Quercus ilex) and deciduous oaks (Quercus petraea, Quercus robur). The larvae feed on these trees’ leaves.
If you’re ever in Austria during the summer months, be sure to keep an eye out for the Ilex Hairstreak, which adds a touch of beauty and magic to any nature scene.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
The Small Copper is a fascinating butterfly species commonly found in various European countries, including Austria.
This beautiful creature is here to complete your wishlist of 30 butterfly species to spot when visiting this country.
Let’s dive deeper into the features and characteristics of the Small Copper:
- Habitat: Prefers sunny and warm environments such as grasslands, heathlands, and meadows.
- Appearance: Displays a vibrant orange color with black borders and small black spots on the wings; the underside is grayish with white and black markings.
- Size: Wingspan ranges from 20 to 32 mm, making it one of the smaller butterfly species in Austria.
- Diet: Mainly feeds on flower nectar, particularly favoring yellow composites like ragwort, dandelions, and hawkweeds.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs singly on the top part of host plant leaves, leading to one or more generations per year.
- Lifespan: Adults live for approximately 1-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) are the primary larval foodplants, where caterpillars feed on the leaves.
Keep your eye out for the Small Copper when exploring the Austrian countryside, as it adds a touch of color and beauty to your surroundings.
Large Copper (Lycaena dispar)
The Large Copper is a striking butterfly species found in Austria, known for its distinctive appearance and vivid coloration.
This beautiful butterfly prefers wetland habitats and can often be seen gracefully flying near ponds and lakes.
Let’s find out more about this fascinating species:
- Habitat: Wetlands, riverbanks, marshes, and fens.
- Appearance: Males have bright orange wings with dark brown blackish borders, while females have a more golden color with a row of blue spots near the edge of the hindwings.
- Size: Wingspan ranges from 3.4 to 5.3 centimeters.
- Diet: Adult Large Coppers feed on nectar from flowers such as thistles and knapweed.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs individually on the leaves of host plants. Caterpillars feed on the leaves and go through several growth stages before pupating and emerging as adult butterflies.
- Lifespan: Adults have a lifespan of 3 to 4 weeks, while the entire life cycle takes approximately 12 months.
- Host Plants: Great Water Dock (Rumex hydrolapathum), Willow Dock (Rumex salicifolius) and other dock plant species (Rumex spp.).
The Large Copper is a splendid butterfly that truly stands out among the many butterfly species found in Austria.
Its bright colors, unique habitat, and intriguing life cycle make it a fascinating addition to the country’s rich biodiversity.
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)
The Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) is a charming butterfly that can be found throughout Austria.
Its strong eyesight and vibrant colors make it an interesting species to study, adding an enchanting touch to the local scenery.
Let’s dive into more details about this captivating creature:
- Habitat: This butterfly inhabits meadows, grasslands, parks, and gardens, particularly in regions with abundant wildflowers.
- Appearance: Male Common Blues exhibit a deep blue upperwing surface, while females display a brown hue with small blue streaks. Both sexes exhibit pale orange crescent markings along the edges of their wings.
- Size: With a wingspan of 27-34 mm, the Common Blue is considered small and delicate.
- Diet: The Common Blue feeds mainly on nectar from flowers such as thistles, dandelions, and clovers.
- Reproduction: Typically, two generations are raised per year, with eggs laid separately on host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult butterfly has a brief lifespan of approximately two to three weeks.
- Host Plants: Their larvae depend on leguminous plants, particularly clovers (Trifolium species) common bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), and black medick (Medicago lupulina).
Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus)
The Silver-studded Blue is a fascinating butterfly species found in Austria, known for its stunning appearance and intriguing behavior.
This butterfly is a delight to observe, and learning about its characteristics is sure to spark your interest in the incredible world of butterflies.
Here’s some information about this captivating species:
- Habitat: The Silver-studded Blue prefers heathlands, dry grasslands, and woodland clearings, seeking sunny spots with an abundance of flowers.
- Appearance: Males have a bright blue upper side with silver-blue scales along the edge, while females are brown with a blueish sheen. Both have a distinctive row of silver markings on the underside of their hind wings.
- Size: This species is relatively small, with a wingspan of 25-30mm.
- Diet: The adults feed primarily on nectar from various flowers, such as thyme, marjoram, and heather.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs singly on or near the host plants, typically on low-growing vegetation.
- Lifespan: The adult butterflies have a short lifespan of 2-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Their caterpillars feed primarily on the common rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium) and the heather (Calluna vulgaris).
With its striking appearance and intriguing biology, the Silver-studded Blue is a remarkable butterfly species well worth observing and understanding.
Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina)
The Duke of Burgundy is a fascinating butterfly species that can be found in Austria.
This charming little creature is known for its unique characteristics and enchanting beauty.
Let’s take a closer look at the Duke of Burgundy and learn some interesting facts about its life.
- Habitat: Prefers woodlands, grasslands, and scrubby areas at higher altitudes
- Appearance: Brownish-orange wings with a row of white spots on the edge, and a band of darker spots across the middle
- Size: Quite small, with a wingspan of around 27-34mm
- Diet: Adults mainly feed on nectar from various flowering plants, such as primroses and cowslips
- Reproduction: Males are highly territorial and will defend their chosen area to attract females for mating
- Lifespan: The adult stage lasts for about 3 weeks, while the entire life cycle from egg to adult can take up to 11 months
- Host Plants: Lays eggs on Primula species, mainly cowslips and primroses, on which the caterpillars will feed
Now that you have a better understanding of the Duke of Burgundy, be sure to keep an eye out for them next time you’re out and about in Austria’s beautiful countryside.
You’ll be rewarded with a glimpse of one of the country’s most captivating butterfly species.
High Brown Fritillary (Argynnis adippe)
The High Brown Fritillary is a stunning butterfly species found in Austria, known for its relatively large size and beautiful orange and brown coloration.
This butterfly is an integral part of the diverse ecosystem and can be found in a variety of habitats.
Here’s a quick overview of its fascinating characteristics:
- Habitat: Mostly found in open grasslands, heathlands, woodland clearings, and mountainous areas in Austria.
- Appearance: Bearing bright orange wings with dark brown markings, the High Brown Fritillary is an eye-catching species. The underside of the wings display intricate silver-white spots.
- Size: This butterfly boasts a wingspan of 50-60 mm, making it one of the larger fritillary species.
- Diet: The adults primarily feed on nectar from flowers like thistles, devil’s-bit scabious, and knapweeds.
- Reproduction: Mating occurs during the summer months, after which females lay their eggs on dry leaves close to the host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult butterflies have a relatively short lifespan of a few weeks, while the entire lifecycle takes about a year to complete.
- Host Plants: The larvae feed on the leaves of various violets (Viola species), which are crucial for their development and survival.
Dark Green Fritillary (Speyeria aglaja)
Let’s dive into the enchanting world of the Dark Green Fritillary, Speyeria aglaja.
This butterfly is a stunning addition to Austria’s diverse insect life.
With a wide range of habitats and an intriguing life cycle, it certainly deserves a closer look.
- Habitat: Dark Green Fritillaries favor grasslands, meadows, dunes, and woodland clearings with plenty of sunlight.
- Appearance: Sporting brown wings with a lovely pattern of green veins on the underside, this species is effortlessly distinguished from other Fritillaries.
- Size: Reaching a wingspan of 54-70mm, they are fairly large and agile fliers.
- Diet: In their caterpillar stage, they feed on various species of violets. As adults, they favor nectar from flowers like thistles and knapweed.
- Reproduction: The female lays her eggs on the leaves of host plants in late summer, and the emerging caterpillars prepare to overwinter before resuming feeding in spring.
- Lifespan: Adult Dark Green Fritillaries live for around 2-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: As mentioned, violet plants serve as hosts for these caterpillars during their growth stage.
So the next time you stroll through a sunlit meadow in Austria, keep an eye out for the captivating dance of the Dark Green Fritillary.
Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia)
Silver-washed fritillary is an exquisite butterfly species in Austria that you must learn about.
These fascinating creatures showcase an excellent combination of beauty and resilience, making them an essential reference among Austrian butterfly species.
Here’s what you need to know about the Silver-washed fritillary:
- Habitat: These butterflies favor deciduous woodland habitats, but can also be found in lowland forests, scrub, and open spaces where specific host plants grow.
- Appearance: They exhibit orange and brown coloration with black markings on top, while underwings display intricate patterns of green and white.
- Size: With a wingspan of about 55 to 65 mm, the Silver-washed fritillary belongs to the larger group of butterflies.
- Diet: As feeding preferences rely on nectar, you may spot them around various flowers including bramble, thistles, and knapweeds.
- Reproduction: A unique trait lays in females laying eggs on the bark of trees, usually near violet plants.
- Lifespan: The adult butterflies often live between two and four weeks after emerging from their cocoons.
- Host Plants: While violet plants serve as the primary host plants for caterpillars to feed on, adults prefer a range of nectar-rich flowers complementing their diet.
Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io)
The Peacock Butterfly is an eye-catching species that can be found throughout Austria.
This beautiful butterfly is known for its vibrant colors and unique patterns, which have made it a favorite among butterfly enthusiasts.
In this section, you’ll learn more about the fascinating characteristics of the Peacock Butterfly, including its:
- Habitat: Peacock butterflies are commonly found in a variety of habitats such as gardens, parks, forests, and meadows. They prefer areas with plenty of nectar-producing plants and a good supply of their caterpillar’s host plants.
- Appearance: With their striking wing patterns resembling eyes, they can deter predators. The wings are a deep reddish-brown with large, iridescent blue “eyes” surrounded by yellow and purple markings.
- Size: Adult Peacock butterflies have a wingspan of approximately 50-55 mm, making them medium-sized butterflies.
- Diet: The adult butterflies feed on nectar from flowers like buddleias, thistles, and dandelions.
- Reproduction: During the mating season in spring, females lay their eggs on the underside of leaves, often on nettle plants.
- Lifespan: Adult Peacock butterflies typically live for about a month during the summer, but some hibernate and can live up to a year.
- Host Plants: The primary host plants for Peacock butterfly caterpillars are stinging nettles and sometimes hops.
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Discover the Red Admiral butterfly, one of Austria’s most easily recognizable and aesthetically pleasing species.
Known for its incredible migratory patterns, this butterfly is both beautiful and fascinating.
Here’s a closer look at the Red Admiral:
- Habitat: Frequents gardens, parks, and forest edges.
- Appearance: Black wings with striking red bands and white spots near the tips.
- Size: Wingspan between 45-52mm.
- Diet: Adults feed mainly on nectar from a variety of flowers, while caterpillars feed on nettle leaves.
- Reproduction: Females lay single eggs on the upper surface of nettle plants, which will hatch into caterpillars after a week or so.
- Lifespan: Adults typically live for 2-3 weeks, though some may survive for up to 6 weeks.
- Host Plants: Primarily nettles, but sometimes hop plants as well.
The Red Admiral is a delightful sight in any garden or park, and its arrival often signals the beginning of warmer weather in Austria.
Make sure to keep an eye out for this captivating butterfly during your outdoor adventures.
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is a beautiful and widespread butterfly species in Austria and across the world.
It’s an extraordinary migratory butterfly, capable of traveling great distances and adapting to various environments.
Let’s explore some interesting facts about these magnificent creatures.
- Habitat: Painted Ladies can be found in a wide range of habitats, such as meadows, gardens, and open countryside.
- Appearance: These butterflies display striking orange, brown and black markings on their wings, along with intricate patterns on their undersides.
- Size: Painted Ladies have a wingspan of about 5-9 centimeters, making them a medium-sized butterfly species.
- Diet: They primarily feed on nectar from various flowering plants like thistles, dandelions, and Buddleja bushes.
- Reproduction: Painted Ladies have multiple generations per year, with their eggs laid singly on host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult Painted Ladies live for only about two to three weeks, completing their impressive life cycle.
- Host Plants: Their larvae feed on a range of host plants, most notably thistles, mallows, and legumes, which helps ensure their survival in diverse environments.
Now you know a bit more about the charming Painted Lady butterflies that grace Austria’s landscapes. Next time you spot one, take a moment to appreciate their beauty and resilience.
Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
The Small Tortoiseshell is a vibrant and eye-catching butterfly species found in various habitats across Austria.
Known for its striking coloration and adaptability, this butterfly is a favorite among enthusiasts.
Let’s take a closer look at some of its characteristics:
- Habitat: Small Tortoiseshells can be found in gardens, meadows, woodland clearings, and even urban areas, making them one of the most versatile butterfly species.
- Appearance: These butterflies boast bright orange wings adorned with a pattern of black and yellow markings, as well as blue spots near the edges.
- Size: Adult Small Tortoiseshells have a wingspan of approximately 45-60 millimeters, making them a medium-sized butterfly.
- Diet: As adults, they primarily feed on nectar from flowers such as thistles, buddleia, and dandelions.
- Reproduction: Females lay batches of eggs on the leaves of host plants, usually stinging nettles, from which the caterpillars will later emerge.
- Lifespan: The adult Small Tortoiseshell has a relatively short lifespan of 2-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Stinging nettles are the primary host plant for the Small Tortoiseshell, as the caterpillars feed exclusively on their leaves before pupating.
This colorful and adaptable butterfly is a delightful sight in Austrian gardens, and its presence is a testament to the richness of the country’s biodiversity.
Comma (Polygonia c-album)
When exploring the diverse butterfly species in Austria, the Comma (Polygonia c-album) definitely catches your attention.
With its distinct wing shape and bright colors, it’s a beautiful sight to behold.
A few interesting facts about this unique butterfly are listed below:
- Habitat: Comma butterflies are mainly found in woodlands, gardens, and hedgerows.
- Appearance: This butterfly features an irregular wing shape with jagged edges, and orange-brown wings with black markings on the upper side. The underwings have a cryptic pattern and a small white ‘C’ shaped mark.
- Size: Adult Commas have a wingspan of about 4.5 to 6.4 centimeters.
- Diet: They feed on nectar from flowers, such as buddleia and thistles, and also enjoy ripe fruits like blackberries.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs on the host plants, which will hatch into caterpillars after about a week.
- Lifespan: Adult Commas live for around 3 to 4 weeks.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars feed on leaves of various plants, including nettles, hops, and elm.
As you can see, the Comma butterfly is an interesting addition to the rich biodiversity of Austria’s butterfly species.
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
The Speckled Wood butterfly is a fascinating species to explore. This charming butterfly can be found in various parts of Austria and is known for its unique appearance and behavior.
Here are some key features of the Speckled Wood butterfly:
- Habitat: These butterflies prefer woodland areas, hedgerows, and gardens, usually inhabiting areas with dappled sunlight and shade.
- Appearance: Speckled Wood butterflies boast a brown and cream-colored pattern on their wings, giving them a stunning speckled appearance, fitting their name.
- Size: They have a wingspan of about 35-45mm, making them a medium-sized butterfly.
- Diet: These butterflies mainly feed on nectar from flowers, particularly in woodland clearings, and sometimes they consume aphid honeydew.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs singly on grasses, and the larvae feed on grass blades. They overwinter as caterpillars or pupae.
- Lifespan: Adult Speckled Wood butterflies have a lifespan of around two to three weeks.
- Host Plants: The primary host plants for the larvae are various species of grasses, such as Cock’s-foot (Dactylis glomerata) and Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus).
Next time you explore the Austrian forests, keep an eye out for this charming species. It’s truly a sight to behold!
Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera)
The Wall Brown is a fascinating butterfly species you can find in Austria. With its remarkable features and captivating habits, it’s worth taking a closer look at this beautiful creature.
Here’s some detailed information about Wall Brown:
- Habitat: Typically, this butterfly prefers open and sunny locations with tall grasses, such as meadows, embankments, and woodland edges. It can also be found in gardens and parks.
- Appearance: The Wall Brown boasts a delightful combination of dark brown and orange hues on its wings, adorned with distinct black spots and intricate patterns.
- Size: With a wingspan of approximately 35-50 mm, this butterfly is relatively small in size.
- Diet: Adults mostly feed on nectar from flowering plants like thistles, dandelions, and wild marjoram, while larvae munch on different species of grasses.
- Reproduction: Males patrol territories and wait for females to mate with. Females lay their eggs on host plants, where the caterpillars will eventually hatch and feed.
- Lifespan: The adult Wall Brown has a relatively short lifespan of around 2-3 weeks, but the species can produce multiple generations throughout the year.
- Host Plants: Their primary host plants include various grass species, such as bents, fescues, and meadow-grasses, where the eggs are laid and caterpillars feed on.
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
When exploring the beautiful countryside of Austria, you’ll likely come across the Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) butterfly.
This butterfly species is widespread and abundant in many habitats across the country.
Before you head outdoors, let’s get familiar with some of its fascinating characteristics:
- Habitat: Meadow Browns prefer grasslands, meadows, and other open areas. They can also be found in forests, parks, and orchards.
- Appearance: This butterfly has soft brown wings with orange patches and dark eye markings with white pupils.
- Size: Meadow Browns have a wingspan of about 40-50mm, making them moderately sized butterflies.
- Diet: They primarily feed on nectar from various flowering plants, particularly those found in grasslands and meadows.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on or near the host plants, which are primarily grass species. A single female can lay up to 200 eggs throughout her lifetime.
- Lifespan: Adults typically live for 2-3 weeks, while the entire life cycle – from egg to adult – takes about 12 months.
- Host Plants: Meadow Brown caterpillars feed on various species of grasses, including fescues, bents, and wavy hair-grass.
Now that you know more about the Meadow Brown, you’ll appreciate their beauty and importance in the Austrian ecosystems even more as you marvel at them on your outdoor adventures.
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)
The Ringlet is a fascinating butterfly species native to Austria that you should definitely keep an eye out for.
Known for its distinctive appearance and interesting life cycle, this charming creature is bound to capture your attention.
- Habitat: Typically found in damp grasslands, meadows, woodland clearings, and sometimes gardens.
- Appearance: Dark brown wings with a series of small, circular yellow-ringed “eye-spots” on the underside. Upper wings are relatively unmarked.
- Size: A relatively small species, with a wingspan of about 35 to 50 millimeters.
- Diet: Adult Ringlets primarily feed on nectar from a variety of wildflowers, like thistles, knapweed, and brambles.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs singly on host plants. The caterpillars hatch and feed on the plants until they pupate and emerge as adults in the following summer.
- Lifespan: Adults live approximately 3 to 4 weeks.
- Host Plants: Primarily feeds on grasses, including common couch grass and various meadow grasses.
Keep an eye out for these unique butterflies, and enjoy their captivating beauty as you explore Austria’s diverse landscapes.
Large Heath (Coenonympha tullia)
The Large Heath, a fascinating butterfly species, is one of the 30 butterfly species found in Austria.
Characterized by its distinctive appearance and habits, it is a particularly intriguing specimen for butterfly enthusiasts.
- Habitat: Large Heath butterflies prefer wet, marshy grasslands and peat bogs, where their host plants thrive. They are typically found in the alpine and sub-alpine regions of Austria.
- Appearance: The Large Heath features brownish-orange wings with several large, circular eyespots on the underside, both on the forewings and hindwings. The upper side of the wings is a more uniform brown color.
- Size: The wingspan of Large Heath butterflies ranges from 4 to 4.8 centimeters (1.6 to 1.9 inches).
- Diet: As adults, these butterflies primarily feed on nectar from various wildflowers, including purple moor-grass and heather.
- Reproduction: Female Large Heath lay their eggs singly on the host plants. The larvae hatch and feed on these plants before pupating in the ground, eventually emerging as adults.
- Lifespan: The adult Large Heath butterfly has a lifespan of around one month.
- Host Plants: The main host plants for the Large Heath caterpillars are species of sedges (particularly Carex genus) and moor-grass (Molinea caerulea).
This unique butterfly species offers an enchanting glimpse into the biodiversity of Austrian butterfly life.
Now that you’ve discovered 30 fascinating butterfly species native to Austria, you’ll have a greater appreciation for these beautiful creatures.
Whether you’re a resident or visitor, there’s always more to learn about Austria’s diverse butterfly population.
We’d love to hear about your experiences and encounters with these butterflies, so feel free to leave a comment below!