30 Butterfly Species in Cyprus
Cyprus, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean, is home to an incredible variety of butterflies.
With over 30 captivating species fluttering around the island, Cyprus is a fantastic destination for nature lovers and butterfly enthusiasts.
In this article, we will explore and learn about these fascinating 30 butterfly species that decorate the diverse landscapes of Cyprus.
Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
The Swallowtail is a fascinating butterfly species you’ll find in Cyprus.
It’s quite remarkable and an excellent example of the biodiversity in the region.
Let’s dive into some key features of this butterfly.
- Habitat: Swallowtails thrive in various environments, from meadows and gardens to marshes and riverbanks.
- Appearance: Recognizable by its large, brightly colored wings with black and yellow markings. It also has the distinctive swallowtail tail-like extensions.
- Size: With a wingspan of 7 to 10 cm, it is one of the largest butterflies found in Cyprus.
- Diet: The adults feed primarily on nectar from various flowering plants.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs singly on host plants, usually on top of leaves. Eggs are spherical and greenish-white.
- Lifespan: The swallowtail has a typical lifespan of about a month in its adult stage.
- Host Plants: This butterfly species’ caterpillars feed on various plant species, including wild fennel, milk parsley, and carrot plants.
The Swallowtail is not only a visual treat but also plays an essential role in pollination, making it an indispensable member of the Cypriot ecosystem.
Large White (Pieris brassicae)
The Large White, also known as the Cabbage White, is one of the most common butterfly species in Cyprus.
It is especially prevalent in gardens, agricultural fields, and suburban areas.
Here’s a quick overview of the Large White:
- Habitat: Gardens, agricultural fields, suburban areas and various other open habitats
- Appearance: Wings are predominantly white, with black tips on the forewings and a black patch on the hindwings
- Size: Wingspan ranging from 5 to 6.5 cm, making them one of the larger white butterflies
- Diet: Adult Large Whites primarily feed on nectar from various flowers, while the caterpillars feed on leaves of plants from the Brassicaceae family
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs on the underside of leaves, usually of plants from the Brassicaceae family. The eggs are pale yellow and laid in clusters
- Lifespan: Adults typically live for about 2 to 4 weeks, depending on environmental conditions
- Host Plants: Common host plants include cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, which is why they are often considered a garden pest
If you come across a Large White fluttering around your garden, you can appreciate its beauty while also being mindful of the potential damage it may cause to your plants.
Small White (Pieris rapae)
The Small White, also known as the Small Cabbage White, is a common and widespread butterfly species in Cyprus.
This butterfly can be found in various habitats, including gardens, meadows, and agricultural fields.
Here’s some interesting information about the Small White:
- Habitat: Gardens, meadows, agricultural fields
- Appearance: White wings with black tips and small black spots
- Size: Wingspan of 32-47 mm
- Diet: Adults feed on nectar, while caterpillars feed on leaves of plants from the Brassicaceae family
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs singly on the undersides of host plant leaves; they have multiple broods per year
- Lifespan: Adults live for about 2-3 weeks
- Host Plants: Brassicaceae family plants, such as cabbage, mustard, and kale
These charming white butterflies are a fairly common sight in Cyprus, adding a touch of beauty to the landscape. Keep an eye out for them the next time you visit this Mediterranean paradise.
Eastern Dappled White (Euchloe ausonia)
The Eastern Dappled White is a captivating butterfly species that you can encounter while exploring the beautiful island of Cyprus.
This species is known for its delicate look and graceful flight.
Let’s dive into more interesting details about the Eastern Dappled White:
- Habitat: Found in meadows, grasslands, and flowery hillsides, this butterfly enjoys sunny environments.
- Appearance: Characterized by white wings with greenish or light grey markings, the Eastern Dappled White also showcases black spots on its forewings.
- Size: An average wingspan of 34-40mm makes this species small and delicate.
- Diet: As an adult, the Eastern Dappled White feeds on the nectar of various flowering plants.
- Reproduction: Males will patrol specific territories in search of females. They lay eggs on the host plants where the larvae will have access to a food source upon hatching.
- Lifespan: The average lifespan of this species is around 1-2 months, varying depending on the weather and other environmental factors.
- Host Plants: The larvae consume plants from the mustard family, such as Sinapis and Eruca species, throughout their development.
Now that you’ve learned about the Eastern Dappled White, discovering these delicate creatures in their natural habitat will surely be a more enlightening experience.
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi)
The Black-veined White is a fascinating butterfly species native to Cyprus, with a unique and captivating presence.
Bearing a beautiful look, this butterfly can easily catch your eye as you explore the rich biodiversity of Cyprus.
Let’s have a closer look at its characteristics:
- Habitat: Typically found in open woodland, meadows, and orchards with an abundance of host plants.
- Appearance: Its most distinctive feature is the translucent white wings with contrasting black veins, creating a striking pattern.
- Size: Boasts a wingspan of 60-70mm, making it a relatively large butterfly.
- Diet: Adults feed on nectar from various flowers, while the caterpillars munch on host plants’ leaves.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs in clusters on the leaves of host plants, with the larvae hatching after two to three weeks.
- Lifespan: Adults usually live for two to three weeks after emerging from the chrysalis.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars feed primarily on hawthorn, blackthorn, and fruit trees such as apple and pear.
As you learn more about the Black-veined White and the other butterfly species in Cyprus, you’ll be enchanted by the diverse array of colors, shapes, and habitats they inhabit.
Large Copper (Lycaena dispar)
The Large Copper is a fascinating butterfly species that can be found in Cyprus.
Let’s dive into more details about the unique features and lifestyle of this beautiful creature.
- Habitat: Large Copper butterflies prefer wetlands, marshes, and damp grassy meadows. They are usually seen near their host plants, which provide the necessary resources for their survival and reproduction.
- Appearance: The Large Copper has a striking, bright orange color that stands out against the green vegetation of their habitats. Their wings exhibit a series of black spots and scalloped black borders.
- Size: The wingspan of these butterflies ranges from 3 to 4 cm, making them relatively small in comparison to other butterfly species.
- Diet: Adult Large Copper butterflies feed mostly on nectar from various flower species, while their caterpillars consume the leaves of their host plants.
- Reproduction: Female Large Coppers lay their eggs on the leaves of their host plants, where the caterpillars will later hatch and begin feeding.
- Lifespan: The life expectancy of Large Copper butterflies is approximately 3 weeks, which is typical for many butterfly species.
- Host Plants: Primarily, the Large Copper caterpillars rely on Rumex species (such as sorrel and dock) as their primary food source.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
Small Copper butterflies are fascinating creatures that can be found across Cyprus.
Let’s explore some interesting facts about this species:
- Habitat: They prefer open grasslands, heathlands, and meadows where their host plants grow.
- Appearance: Sporting a striking orange and brown color pattern, these butterflies are truly eye-catching. The upper wings showcase bright orange sections with dark brown edges and spots, while the lower wings are mostly dark with orange accents.
- Size: Small Coppers are, as their name suggests, small in size, with a wingspan of about 3 to 4 centimeters.
- Diet: The adult butterflies mainly feed on nectar from flowers, particularly those in the Asteraceae family. The caterpillars, on the other hand, feed on the leaves of their host plants.
- Reproduction: Female Small Coppers lay single eggs on the underside of their host plant’s leaves, ensuring a food source for the emerging caterpillars.
- Lifespan: Adult Small Coppers generally live for 2 to 3 weeks, during which they mate and lay eggs.
- Host Plants: Common sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and sheep’s sorrel (Rumex acetosella) are the preferred host plants for Small Copper caterpillars.
Small Copper butterflies stand out with their vibrant colors and play a crucial role in their ecosystem.
So, whenever you take a walk through Cyprus’s beautiful landscapes, keep an eye out for these charming insects.
Eastern Baton Blue (Pseudophilotes vicrama)
The Eastern Baton Blue is a fascinating butterfly species that can be found in Cyprus.
Below are some key features of this beautiful creature:
- Habitat: This butterfly prefers open, grassy areas such as meadows, hills, and sunny clearings. They can be found at elevations ranging from sea level to mountain ranges.
- Appearance: Eastern Baton Blue butterflies have an eye-catching blue color on the upper side of their wings, with a unique pattern of white spots and black lines. The underside of their wings is a mix of brown, black, and white, creating a camouflage pattern.
- Size: These butterflies are small in size, with a wingspan typically ranging between 20-25 millimeters.
- Diet: They primarily feed on the nectar of various flowering plants, with a preference for thistles and knapweed.
- Reproduction: Eastern Baton Blue butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves of specific host plants, usually in a single layer. After the larvae hatch, they enter a stage of development known as the ‘caterpillar’ stage before transitioning into their adult form.
- Lifespan: The adult butterfly typically lives for 2-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Their primary host plants include Erodium species and Geraniaceae family plants.
This striking species adds a touch of vibrant color to Cyprus’ diverse butterfly population, making it a sought-after sighting for butterfly enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Eastern Brown Argus (Aricia anteros)
The Eastern Brown Argus is a fascinating butterfly species found in Cyprus.
This tiny creature has some unique characteristics that make it a delightful sight, whether you’re an experienced butterfly enthusiast or a casual observer.
Here are some key facts about this beautiful butterfly:
- Habitat: The Eastern Brown Argus prefers to live in sunny, open landscapes like grasslands, meadows, and forest clearings. It can also be found near rocky terrain or hillsides.
- Appearance: This butterfly features a rich brown color on its upper wings, with orange crescent-shaped markings on the outer edges. The underside of the wings is more intricate, displaying a complex pattern of white, orange, and brown hues.
- Size: The Eastern Brown Argus has a wingspan varying between 25-35 mm, making it a relatively small butterfly species.
- Diet: Adult Eastern Brown Argus butterflies mainly feed on flower nectar, particularly favoring plants from the Fabaceae family.
- Reproduction: The female lays eggs on the host plants, and the resulting caterpillars feed on the leaves, blending in with their surroundings to avoid predators.
- Lifespan: The adult Eastern Brown Argus has a relatively short lifespan of about 2-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Some of the main host plants for the Eastern Brown Argus include the Rockrose (Helianthemum) and Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia), which are both native to Cyprus.
The Eastern Brown Argus is a captivating butterfly species that can be found in various habitats across Cyprus.
Its small size, intricate patterns, and short lifespan make it a truly unique and charming creature to observe.
Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)
The Green Hairstreak is a fascinating butterfly species native to Cyprus, where it can be easily spotted flying between April and June.
This delicate species is incredibly important for plant pollination, as it visits a wide range of flowers.
Let’s explore some of its key features:
- Habitat: Green Hairstreaks are typically found in open areas, such as meadows, grasslands and scrublands, with an abundance of host plants.
- Appearance: The butterfly is characterized by its striking green wings, which help to camouflage it among the vegetation. The underside of the wings is adorned with white spots.
- Size: Adults have a wingspan of approximately 30-35mm, making them a relatively small butterfly species.
- Diet: Green Hairstreaks mainly feed on nectar from various flowers, including those from the pea family, vetches, and heathers.
- Reproduction: The females lay single, pale green eggs on suitable host plants, which then hatch into bright green caterpillars.
- Lifespan: The entire life cycle of the Green Hairstreak lasts about one year, with adults living for around three weeks.
- Host Plants: Some of the most common host plants for Green Hairstreaks include gorse, broom, and various types of rock-roses, which the caterpillars feed upon before pupating.
Keep an eye out for this lovely little butterfly while exploring the beautiful landscapes of Cyprus!
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)
The Common Blue butterfly, scientifically known as Polyommatus icarus, is a familiar sight in Cyprus and throughout Europe.
With its vibrant colors and striking patterns, this butterfly is truly a sight to behold.
- Habitat: Found in various habitats such as meadows, heathlands, grassy dunes, and gardens, these butterflies are quite adaptable.
- Appearance: Males boast a dazzling blue color on the uppersides of their wings, while females display a mix of blue and brown. Both sexes have intricate patterns on the undersides of their wings.
- Size: The small butterfly has a wingspan of 29-38mm, making it easy to identify as the Common Blue.
- Diet: Caterpillars of Common Blues feed predominantly on legumes, particularly clovers and trefoils. Adults primarily feed on nectar from flowers like marjoram and thistles.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on the leaves of host plants and may produce several generations over the summer months.
- Lifespan: Adults have a lifespan of around two weeks, but their species thrives through the quick succession of generations.
- Host Plants: The Common Blue caterpillar thrives on legumes, with a particular affinity for Birdsfoot trefoil, clovers, and black medick.
The Common Blue butterfly isn’t just a visual delight, but it is also an essential pollinator and indicator species signaling the health of ecosystems.
Pea Blue (Lampides boeticus)
The Pea Blue, also known as the Long-tailed Blue, is a small butterfly native to Cyprus, among other regions.
This captivating creature has caught the eye of many with its striking colors and delicate features.
Here’s more about the Pea Blue:
- Habitat: Pea Blue butterflies are quite adaptable and can be found in various habitats such as gardens, meadows, open woodlands, and even urban areas.
- Appearance: The upper sides of the wings exhibit a beautiful shade of bright blue, while the underside is pale brown with a series of spots and a long, hair-like tail on the hind wings.
- Size: These butterflies have a wingspan of about 25-35 mm, making them a rather small species.
- Diet: The adult Pea Blue mostly feeds on nectar from various flowers, while the caterpillars feed on the leaves of their host plants.
- Reproduction: After mating, the female lays her eggs on the host plants, typically individually or in small groups.
- Lifespan: The Pea Blue boasts a relatively short life cycle, with the adult stage lasting for about 3 weeks.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars mainly feed on plants from the pea family, such as clover, alfalfa, and vetches.
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
The Red Admiral is a butterfly species found in Cyprus and is known for its striking colors and adaptability.
This butterfly is admired by many for its eye-catching design making it easy to spot in a variety of locations.
Let’s explore the features of the Red Admiral butterfly:
- Habitat: They are found in meadows, gardens, forests, and near rivers or streams, with a preference for sunlit areas.
- Appearance: They have black wings with bright red bands and white spots on the tips, creating an attention-grabbing contrast.
- Size: Their wingspan can reach up to about 2 inches (50mm) which is considered medium for a butterfly species.
- Diet: Adult Red Admirals feed on nectar from various flowers, while their larvae consume leaves from multiple host plants.
- Reproduction: Mating occurs in late spring or early summer, after which the female will lay up to 200 eggs on host plants.
- Lifespan: Adults have a short lifespan of only a few weeks, whereas the entire butterfly life cycle from egg to adult takes around 30-45 days.
- Host Plants: The larvae feed on plants from the nettle family, such as stinging nettle and small nettle.
Now that you know more about the Red Admiral, you can easily spot and appreciate these beautiful creatures in the Cypriot countryside.
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Let me introduce you to the Painted Lady butterfly, a beautifully colored and widespread species that you can find in Cyprus.
It’s time to take a closer look at this lovely butterfly and learn more about its habitat, appearance, and other characteristics.
- Habitat: Painted Ladies can be found in a variety of habitats, including meadows, gardens, roadside verges, and fields. They’re quite adaptable and can thrive in both warm and cool climates.
- Appearance: They have distinctive orange and black upper wings with white spots and brown, white, and blue markings on their lower wings. This presents a beautiful and striking contrast that makes them easily recognizable.
- Size: Painted Ladies have a wingspan of around 5-9 cm, which places them at a medium size in comparison to other butterfly species in Cyprus.
- Diet: Adult Painted Ladies mostly feed on nectar from flowers, while the caterpillars enjoy munching on thistles, mallows, and other plants.
- Reproduction: These butterflies perform an amazing migration from Africa to Europe and Asia every year, breeding along the way. They lay their eggs individually on the leaves of host plants.
- Lifespan: The average lifespan of a Painted Lady butterfly is about two to four weeks. However, those that are part of the migrating generation can live much longer, up to six to eight months.
- Host Plants: They prefer thistles, mallows, and other members of the Asteraceae family as host plants for their caterpillars to feast upon.
Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
The Small Tortoiseshell butterfly is a colorful and widespread species that can be found in various habitats across Cyprus.
This well-known butterfly is easy to spot due to its striking appearance and familiarity to many butterfly enthusiasts.
Below is some interesting information about the Small Tortoiseshell:
- Habitat: Gardens, meadows, woodlands, and various other open habitats
- Appearance: Bright orange with black, blue, and yellow markings, and dark patterning on the edges of the wings
- Size: Wingspan ranging from 45 to 62 mm
- Diet: Adult butterflies feed on nectar from various flowers, such as thistles, dandelions, and buddleia
- Reproduction: Females lay single batches of eggs (up to 100) on the underside of nettle leaves which serve as the larval host plant
- Lifespan: Adults generally live for 2-3 weeks in the summer but can live up to 8 months if they undergo hibernation during winter months
- Host Plants: Larvae feed mainly on stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and small nettle (Urtica urens)
Next time you’re in Cyprus, keep your eyes peeled for this stunning and fascinating butterfly species. The Small Tortoiseshell’s beautiful colors and markings make it a wonderful sight to behold.
Camberwell Beauty (Nymphalis antiopa)
Camberwell Beauty, also known as Mourning Cloak, is a fascinating butterfly species native to Cyprus.
It is easily recognizable due to its unique dark maroon wings with cream-colored edges.
Here are some key features of this beautiful butterfly:
- Habitat: Camberwell Beauty prefers deciduous woodlands, orchards, and gardens with plenty of shade and moisture. It can also be found in parks near forest edges.
- Appearance: Their wings have an eye-catching dark maroon color with a distinctive cream-colored edging. There is also a row of blue spots along the edge of the wings.
- Size: The wingspan of an adult Camberwell Beauty can reach 4-4.5 cm.
- Diet: Adults mainly feed on tree sap, rotting fruit, and aphid honeydew. They seldom feed on flower nectar.
- Reproduction: Mating occurs in the spring, and females lay eggs in clusters on the underside of host plant leaves. The caterpillars then emerge and feed on the leaves.
- Lifespan: Adult Camberwell Beauties have a relatively long lifespan of 11-12 months, which is unusual for most butterfly species.
- Host Plants: The main host plants for the Camberwell Beauty caterpillars are poplar, elm, and willow trees.
This alluring butterfly species, with its strikingly beautiful wings and long lifespan, makes it a fascinating creature to observe and study.
Cardinal (Argynnis pandora)
Cardinal (Argynnis pandora) is a fascinating butterfly species that can be found in Cyprus.
Here are some interesting facts about this beautiful insect:
- Habitat: This butterfly species prefers open, sunny areas with scattered vegetation. They can be found in meadows, forest clearings, and along roadsides.
- Appearance: The Cardinal has a striking appearance, with its upper wings being orange and adorned with black spots and bands. The underwings have a silver-grey color with intricate intricate white, black, and red patterns.
- Size: This butterfly has a relatively large wingspan, measuring around 65-75 mm in length.
- Diet: Adult Cardinals primarily feed on nectar from flowers, particularly thistles and knapweed.
- Reproduction: The female lays eggs singly on the leaves of host plant species, and the caterpillars feed on these plants after hatching.
- Lifespan: Adult Cardinal butterflies live for about 2-3 weeks, while the entire life cycle, from egg to adult, lasts around 4-6 weeks.
- Host Plants: The main host plants for the Cardinal caterpillars are various species of violets (Viola).
Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia)
The Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia) is a beautiful butterfly species frequently spotted in Cyprus.
This fascinating species is known for its eye-catching appearance and resilience in various types of habitats.
Below are some essential facts you might enjoy about the Queen of Spain Fritillary:
- Habitat: It thrives in grasslands, meadows, and rocky hillsides.
- Appearance: You’ll notice its bright orange upper wings adorned with black spots and unique, silver-spangled underwings.
- Size: Generally, its wingspan ranges between 35 to 50 mm.
- Diet: As an adult, it chiefly feeds on the nectar of flowers, such as thistles and Buddleias.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs singly on various plants like violets. The eggs eventually hatch into caterpillars, giving birth to the next generation.
- Lifespan: Adults breathe for around two weeks, while the entire life cycle lasts about a month.
- Host Plants: Common violets (Viola odorata) and dog violets (Viola conspersa) serve as the primary host plants for the larval stage.
As you visit the beautiful island of Cyprus, be sure to keep an eye out for the captivating Queen of Spain Fritillary with its striking colors and unique silver-spangle patterns.
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
The Monarch butterfly is one of the most well-known and iconic butterfly species globally, famous for its incredible migration patterns. You may often spot them in Cyprus.
Let’s learn about the Monarch butterfly:
- Habitat: Monarchs can be found in a variety of habitats including meadows, gardens, fields, and roadsides. In Cyprus, they can be found in coastal areas and valleys.
- Appearance: Known for their vibrant orange and black wings, Monarchs also have white spots on the edges of their wings.
- Size: Monarchs have a wingspan of about 3.7-4.1 inches (9.5-10.5 cm).
- Diet: Adult Monarchs primarily feed on nectar from various flowers, while caterpillars feed on milkweed leaves.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on milkweed plants. The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which then transform into chrysalises before emerging as adult butterflies.
- Lifespan: The average lifespan of a Monarch is about 2-5 weeks for summer generations. However, the last generation of each year, called the “migrant generation,” can live up to 7-8 months.
- Host Plants: Milkweed plants are the primary host plants for Monarch caterpillars. They rely on these plants for both food and safety during their larval stage.
Southern Comma (Polygonia egea)
The Southern Comma is a fascinating butterfly species native to the Mediterranean region, including Cyprus.
In this section, we will explore some important attributes of this remarkable butterfly.
- Habitat: Southern Comma butterflies can be found in a variety of habitats, such as woodland clearings, grasslands, and gardens.
- Appearance: They display a distinct pattern of orange and black wings with a serrated edge and a white, comma-shaped mark on the underside.
- Size: This medium-sized butterfly ranges from 40 to 50mm in wingspan.
- Diet: As adults, Southern Comma butterflies feed on nectar from various flower species. Larvae consume leaves from their host plants, particularly nettles.
- Reproduction: Their reproduction process involves the female laying eggs on host plants, where they develop into caterpillars and eventually transform into adult butterflies.
- Lifespan: The entire life cycle, from egg to adult, takes around six weeks. Adult butterflies typically live for about two to three weeks.
- Host Plants: The primary host plants for the Southern Comma caterpillar include stinging nettles, hop plants, and elm trees.
Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera)
The Wall Brown is an intriguing butterfly species that you can find in Cyprus, adding beautiful charm to the island’s diverse wildlife.
This fascinating species is associated with a number of intriguing characteristics that make it stand out:
- Habitat: Wall Brown butterflies prefer sunny and warm habitats such as open grasslands, rocky areas, and even rocky coastlines.
- Appearance: The Wall Brown features a unique color pattern, with a dark brown upper side marked with orange patches and underside consisting of a brown, gray, and white marbled design.
- Size: With a wingspan ranging from 3.8 to 5 cm, the Wall Brown is of average size compared to other butterfly species in Cyprus.
- Diet: Wall Browns primarily feed on nectar from various flowers, such as thistles and marjoram.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs individually on host plants, typically grasses like brome or fescue, where they later hatch into caterpillars.
- Lifespan: Adult Wall Browns live for two to three weeks, with multiple generations occurring during summer months.
- Host Plants: Brome and fescue grasses are the main host plants, providing food for Wall Brown caterpillars to thrive.
The Wall Brown butterfly is a fascinating and beautiful species that contributes to the biodiversity and charm of Cyprus.
Their interesting characteristics and the stunning colors make them an intriguing creature to observe and learn about.
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
The Speckled Wood is a butterfly species that you can spot fluttering around the beautiful island of Cyprus.
This fascinating creature is worth knowing about, so let’s dive into some interesting details about it.
- Habitat: Speckled Wood butterflies prefer to live in woodland areas, especially those with dappled sunlight. They also inhabit hedgerows, gardens, and even city parks.
- Appearance: They exhibit brown wings with cream-colored spots, giving them their “speckled” look. This unique pattern helps them blend into their surroundings.
- Size: These butterflies have a wingspan of approximately 4-4.8 centimeters, making them a medium-sized species.
- Diet: Unlike some other butterfly species, Speckled Wood adults are known to feed on both nectar and aphid honeydew. This ensures they have a diverse diet providing essential nutrients.
- Reproduction: They have multiple generations per year, with their mating season taking place during spring and summer months.
- Lifespan: The adult Speckled Wood butterfly can live up to several weeks, depending on factors like weather and availability of food sources.
- Host Plants: Their caterpillars feed primarily on different types of grasses, such as common couch grass or Yorkshire fog.
So, when you’re out exploring Cyprus, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the charming Speckled Wood butterfly – a true testament to the beauty and diversity of this wonderful island’s butterfly population.
Grayling (Hipparchia semele)
The Grayling is a fascinating butterfly species you can find in Cyprus. It belongs to the Nymphalidae family and is known for its unique appearance and behavior.
Here’s a quick look at the different aspects of this captivating butterfly:
- Habitat: Graylings can be found in various habitats, including grasslands, heathlands, and coastal areas, as well as the shrublands of Cyprus.
- Appearance: This species is easily recognizable because of its cryptic coloration which helps it blend in with its surroundings. Its wings have a mottled pattern of gray and brown, making it difficult to spot when it’s at rest.
- Size: Graylings have a wingspan of about 5-6 centimeters, making them a medium-sized butterfly species.
- Diet: Adult Graylings primarily feed on nectar from flowers. Their favorites include thistles, knapweeds, and scabious.
- Reproduction: These butterflies typically mate in mid-summer and the females lay eggs on various grass species. The caterpillars that emerge feed on a variety of grasses.
- Lifespan: The Grayling has a relatively short lifespan, living for about two to three weeks as an adult butterfly.
- Host Plants: As mentioned earlier, the larvae of Graylings feed on different grass species, including sheep’s fescue, red fescue, and crested dog’s-tail.
Now that you know more about the Grayling, be sure to keep an eye out for this fascinating species while exploring the diverse habitats of Cyprus.
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
The Small Heath is a fascinating butterfly species that you can find in Cyprus. As an enthusiast, there’s definitely more for you to learn about this mysterious and elusive creature.
Let’s explore some key aspects of the Small Heath:
- Habitat: These butterflies thrive in grasslands, meadows, and woodland clearings. They prefer open areas with short grasses and plenty of sunlight.
- Appearance: The Small Heath’s wings are mostly brown with orange patches towards the outer edges. The undersides are greyish-brown with distinct eyespots and a white fringe along the edges.
- Size: This butterfly has a wingspan of approximately 25-34 mm, making it considerably small compared to other species.
- Diet: Adult Small Heaths primarily feed on nectar from a variety of plants, including dandelions, clovers, and thistles.
- Reproduction: The mating season occurs from May to September, during which females lay eggs on the host plants. The eggs hatch into tiny caterpillars that feed on grasses and undergo metamorphosis.
- Lifespan: The adult butterfly has a relatively short lifespan, lasting only about 3-4 weeks.
- Host Plants: Coenonympha pamphilus caterpillars feed on a variety of grasses, such as fescue, bent, and bluegrass.
Get ready to discover this enchanting species during your Cyprus getaway and marvel at the intricate beauty of the Small Heath butterfly.
Eastern Rock Grayling (Hipparchia syriaca)
The Eastern Rock Grayling is a unique butterfly species found not only in Cyprus but also in other Mediterranean regions.
This butterfly is known for its remarkable camouflage abilities, which help it blend seamlessly with its surroundings.
- Habitat: Eastern Rock Graylings predominantly favor rocky habitats, such as limestone grasslands, dry scrublands, and forest edges. Their habitat range extends from North Africa and the Middle East to southeastern Europe.
- Appearance: The butterfly features a distinctive pattern on its wings, which resembles the texture of a rock surface. The upper side of the wings is primarily brown with darker markings, while the underside showcases a beautiful gray marbled pattern.
- Size: The wingspan of an Eastern Rock Grayling can range from 45 to 55 mm, making it a medium-sized butterfly species.
- Diet: Adults mainly feed on the nectar of various flower species, while the caterpillars prefer consuming grasses.
- Reproduction: Mating takes place during the summer months, with females laying eggs singly on the host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult Eastern Rock Grayling has a relatively short lifespan that lasts for about one month.
- Host Plants: As caterpillars, they feed on several grass species, such as Festuca and Stipa, which are commonly found in their rocky habitats.
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Meadow Brown is one of the widely distributed butterfly species in Cyprus. This butterfly has a strong presence in Europe and Asia.
Let’s take a closer look at the Meadow Brown’s characteristics.
- Habitat: They are found in a wide variety of habitats including grasslands, meadows, roadsides, hedgerows, and woodland clearings.
- Appearance: Meadow Browns have brown wings with orange patches, and a small black eyespot bordered with white on the forewings.
- Size: Their wingspan ranges between 45 to 50 millimeters, making them medium-sized butterflies.
- Diet: Adult Meadow Browns primarily feed on nectar from various flowers such as thistles, knapweeds, and marjorams.
- Reproduction: Mating occurs in flight or on the ground. Females lay their eggs singly on grass blades.
- Lifespan: Adult Meadow Browns have a short life expectancy of around 3 weeks after reaching full maturity.
- Host Plants: The larvae feed on a variety of grass species including fescues, bents, and meadow-grasses.
Now that you know more about the Meadow Brown, next time you take a stroll through Cyprus’ green spaces, keep an eye out for this unique butterfly!
Great Banded Grayling (Brintesia circe)
The Great Banded Grayling, scientifically known as Brintesia circe, is a fascinating butterfly species that can be found in Cyprus.
Here are some key characteristics of this beautiful butterfly:
- Habitat: Great Banded Graylings can be found in grasslands, meadows, wooded areas, and forest edges. They prefer warm and open habitats with plenty of sunshine.
- Appearance: This butterfly exhibits a striking pattern of dark bands on its wings with a contrasting mix of white and grayish-brown colors. The underwings feature a subtle brown and gray camouflage pattern.
- Size: The wingspan of a Great Banded Grayling ranges from 6 to 8 centimeters, making it a relatively large butterfly species.
- Diet: Adult Great Banded Graylings feed on nectar from flowers of various plant species, including thistles and knapweeds.
- Reproduction: Males establish territories and wait for females to pass by for mating. Females lay their eggs singly on the host plants.
- Lifespan: Adult Great Banded Graylings have a relatively short lifespan, usually living for around 3 weeks.
- Host Plants: The larvae feed on a variety of grasses, primarily preferring the species Brachypodium sylvaticum and Dactylis glomerata.
Now that you know more about the Great Banded Grayling, you can better appreciate its uniqueness when exploring the beautiful butterfly species of Cyprus.
Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera)
The Large Wall Brown is a beautiful species of butterfly you can find in Cyprus. It is a widespread species that is commonly seen in various habitats throughout the island.
Let’s take a closer look at this magnificent creature to learn more about its characteristics and life cycle.
- Habitat: The Large Wall Brown thrives in various environments, such as forests, meadows, and rocky areas.
- Appearance: This butterfly displays a striking pattern of orange-brown and black markings on its wings, with white spots on the black borders.
- Size: Its wingspan ranges from 4 to 5 centimeters, making it a medium-sized butterfly.
- Diet: Adult Large Wall Brown butterflies feed on nectar from various flowering plants, while their caterpillars munch on grasses.
- Reproduction: These butterflies have two to three generations per year. Females lay eggs singly on host plants, from which caterpillars will emerge.
- Lifespan: The adult stage lasts around two weeks, while the entire life cycle takes about a month to complete.
- Host Plants: A variety of grass species serve as host plants for the Large Wall Brown caterpillars, such as the Meadow Fescue, Sheep’s Fescue, and Yorkshire Fog.
As you explore the natural beauty of Cyprus, keep an eye out for the Large Wall Brown butterfly and appreciate its unique characteristics and fascinating life cycle.
Eastern Steppe Festoon (Zerynthia cerisy)
The Eastern Steppe Festoon, also known as Zerynthia cerisy, is a vibrant and beautiful butterfly species that can be found in Cyprus.
These butterflies are truly magnificent with their colorful patterns and distinctive characteristics.
Let’s dive deeper into their world and learn more about them:
- Habitat: Eastern Steppe Festoons inhabit dry, open, grassy areas, coastal sand dunes, and scrublands.
- Appearance: They have attractive, bright yellow wings with bold black markings and a thin red or orange line bordering the wings’ edges.
- Size: The wingspan of these butterflies ranges between 55-60 mm, making them a medium-sized species.
- Diet: As adults, Eastern Steppe Festoons feed on nectar from various flowers, while their caterpillars feed on particular host plants.
- Reproduction: The female butterflies lay their eggs on the host plants, where the caterpillars will later hatch and feed.
- Lifespan: Adult Eastern Steppe Festoons typically live for two to three weeks.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars feed on plants belonging to the genus Aristolochia, specifically Aristolochia rotunda and Aristolochia clematitis.
As you can see, the Eastern Steppe Festoon is a remarkable butterfly species with unique features and habits.
Spotting one of these beauties during your visit to Cyprus would certainly be a memorable experience.
Cyprus Meadow Brown (Hyponephele lupina)
The Cyprus Meadow Brown, or Hyponephele lupina, is a unique butterfly species found mainly in Cyprus.
Its distinct features and characteristics set it apart from other Meadow Brown butterflies.
Here are some key aspects of this fascinating species:
- Habitat: The Cyprus Meadow Brown thrives in grassy slopes and meadows, as well as open woodlands. They are often found at higher elevations within the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus.
- Appearance: This butterfly has dark brown upper wings with small patches of orange and a single eyespot. The underwings are a mixture of brown, orange, and white, creating a unique pattern.
- Size: The wingspan of the Cyprus Meadow Brown ranges from 25 to 40 mm, making them a medium-sized butterfly.
- Diet: The adults primarily feed on nectar from flowers such as thistles and knapweeds. The caterpillars feed on various grasses.
- Reproduction: The female Cyprus Meadow Brown lays her eggs individually on grass blades. Once hatched, the young caterpillars feed on grass and grow until they are ready to pupate.
- Lifespan: Adult Cyprus Meadow Browns live for approximately one month, and they have one generation per year.
- Host Plants: The host plants for the caterpillars of the Cyprus Meadow Brown include various grass species, with a preference for plants in the Poaceae family.
In conclusion, Cyprus is home to a diverse and fascinating array of 30 butterfly species, each with its unique traits and beauty.
These butterflies contribute to the island’s rich and colorful biodiversity, making it a true haven for nature lovers and entomologists.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on these species; please feel free to leave a comment below.