30 Butterfly Species in Greece
Welcome to the fascinating world of butterflies in Greece! This beautiful country is home to an extraordinary variety of these stunning creatures.
Let’s uncover the charm of 30 remarkable butterfly species that grace the Greek landscapes.
Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Swallowtail butterflies are undoubtedly a sight to behold.
Known for their vibrant colors and distinctive tail-like extensions, these butterflies grace the Greek countryside with their presence.
Their scientific name, Papilio machaon, pays homage to Machaon, a skilled healer in Greek mythology.
Let’s take a closer look at their fascinating attributes:
- Habitat: Swallowtails prefer open meadows, gardens, and wetlands, where they can find flowers rich in nectar and appropriate host plants for their larvae.
- Appearance: These butterflies are primarily yellow with black and blue markings, and red and blue eyespots on their hind wings. Their tails resemble the shape of a swallow’s, hence the name “Swallowtail.”
- Size: With a wingspan ranging from 7 to 10 centimeters, Swallowtails are among the larger butterflies in Greece.
- Diet: Adult Swallowtails feed on nectar from flowers, while their caterpillars munch on the leaves of host plants.
- Reproduction: Female Swallowtails lay single eggs on host plants, ensuring their offspring have a proximate food source.
- Lifespan: Adults typically live 3 to 4 weeks, depending on environmental factors and predators.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars of Swallowtails mainly feed on plants from the Apiaceae family, including fennel, dill, and parsley.
The Swallowtail’s vibrant colors and unmistakable features make it an unmissable sight in the beautiful landscapes of Greece.
Southern White Admiral (Limenitis reducta)
The Southern White Admiral is a truly mesmerizing butterfly species you’ll easily fall in love with while exploring Greece.
Known for its stunning beauty and grace, this butterfly species is sure to capture your heart.
Here are some quick facts about the Southern White Admiral:
- Habitat: Primarily found in woodlands, forests, and meadows, enjoying warm, sunny spots.
- Appearance: Characterized by its striking black and white patterned wings with unique bands of white.
- Size: Generally has a wingspan of 60-70mm, making it a medium to large-sized butterfly.
- Diet: Southern White Admirals feed on nectar from plants such as thistles, valerian, and wild privet.
- Reproduction: Females lay a single egg on a host plant, usually a honeysuckle species.
- Lifespan: As adults, these butterflies can live up to three weeks during their active season.
- Host Plants: The larval host plants are mostly Lonicera and other flowering plants in the Caprifoliaceae family.
Remember to keep an eye out for these mesmerizing creatures during your Greek adventures, and you may just be lucky enough to spot one in its natural habitat.
Large White (Pieris brassicae)
The Large White butterfly, also known as the Cabbage White, is one of the most widespread and recognizable butterfly species in Greece.
It’s a strong flyer and easily adaptable to various environments.
Here are some key features of this beautiful butterfly:
- Habitat: Large Whites can be found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, farmland, meadows, and open woodlands. They are widespread throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
- Appearance: These butterflies have white wings with black tips on the forewings, and a grayish pattern on the outer edges of the hindwings. Males have a smaller black patch than females.
- Size: Large White butterflies have a wingspan of 60-68mm, making them relatively large compared to other butterfly species.
- Diet: The adult butterflies feed primarily on nectar from various flowers, while the caterpillars feed on the leaves of cabbage and other Brassicaceae species.
- Reproduction: Large Whites can produce two to three generations per year, with females laying hundreds of eggs in clusters on host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult butterflies typically live for two to three weeks.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars of this species feed mainly on plants from the Brassicaceae family, such as cabbage, kale, and mustard. This is why they are sometimes considered a pest in agricultural settings.
Eastern Festoon (Zerynthia cerisy)
The Eastern Festoon, a vibrant and intricate butterfly, is one of the marvelous butterfly species native to Greece.
Known for its captivating appearance, here’s a closer look at what makes this species so fascinating:
- Habitat: Typically found in open, sunny areas such as meadows, woodland clearings, and rocky slopes.
- Appearance: It showcases a remarkable yellow and black pattern with red spots and blue markings on the edges of the wings.
- Size: Adult Eastern Festoons have a wingspan of 60-80 mm, making them a relatively large butterfly species.
- Diet: Adult butterflies primarily feed on nectar from a variety of flowers, such as lavender, wild thyme, and rockroses.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs individually on leaves of host plants; caterpillars emerge and feed on the host plants.
- Lifespan: Eastern Festoons live for approximately 3-4 weeks as adults.
- Host Plants: They have a preference for the birthwort (Aristolochia) plant, where caterpillars feed and develop, eventually pupating on the same plant.
As you explore the picturesque landscapes of Greece, keep an eye out for this striking butterfly and cherish the sighting of the beautiful Eastern Festoon.
Small White (Pieris rapae)
The Small White, also known as the Small Cabbage White, is a common butterfly in Greece and one you might easily spot in gardens, meadows, and farmlands.
This delicate butterfly is a joy to watch as it flitters from one flower to the next.
Let’s take a closer look at the Small White and its distinctive characteristics:
- Habitat: This butterfly prefers open spaces like gardens, countryside roads, meadows, and agricultural lands.
- Appearance: The Small White exhibits white wings with black tips on the forewing and a single black dot on the upper side of the hindwings.
- Size: The wingspan of the Small White ranges between 32 to 47 millimeters.
- Diet: Adults feed primarily on nectar from various flowering plants, like dandelions, thistles, and clover.
- Reproduction: Females lay their pale yellow eggs under the leaves of their host plants. After hatching, the caterpillars feed on these plants until they are ready to pupate and transform into butterflies.
- Lifespan: The Small White has a lifespan of about 3 to 5 weeks, from the time it emerges as an adult to when it dies.
- Host Plants: Small White’s caterpillars feed on plants belonging to the Brassicaceae family, such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale. This has given them the name “Cabbage Whites.”
Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra)
The Cleopatra butterfly is a fascinating species that you can’t help but admire.
Be prepared to learn the essentials of this amazing creature, which you might find fluttering around during your visit to Greece.
- Habitat: Cleopatra butterflies are found in the Mediterranean region, thriving in open woodlands, meadows, and hillsides.
- Appearance: This butterfly boasts a beautiful, bright yellow color on its wings, with males presenting a remarkable orange patch on their forewings.
- Size: The wingspan of Cleopatra butterflies measures between 50 and 60 millimeters, or approximately 2 to 2.4 inches.
- Diet: These pollinators primarily feed on the nectar of various flowers, such as lavender and thistles.
- Reproduction: The mating season of Cleopatra butterflies begins in the spring, and females subsequently lay their eggs on leaves.
- Lifespan: Like most butterflies, Cleopatras have a short adult life, typically lasting just a few weeks.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars of this butterfly species primarily feed on buckthorn plants (Rhamnus species).
Hopefully, this information makes Cleopatra butterflies even more captivating to you, and you’ll recognize them if you come across one on your Greek adventures.
Green-veined White (Pieris napi)
The Green-veined White is a delightful butterfly species native to Greece.
It is quite a treat to watch them fluttering gracefully in their natural habitats.
Let’s take a closer look at the Green-veined White:
- Habitat: These butterflies are found in a variety of habitats, including meadows, woodlands, and gardens.
- Appearance: They have white wings with a pattern of green veins on the underside, giving them their name. The green veins help them blend into the foliage when they are at rest.
- Size: The Green-veined White has a wingspan that ranges between 40-50mm, making them a medium-sized butterfly species.
- Diet: As adults, they primarily feed on nectar from flowers such as dandelions and buttercups. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of plants in the cabbage family.
- Reproduction: The female Green-veined White lays her eggs singly on the underside of the host plant leaves. The caterpillars emerge in about a week and start feeding on the leaves.
- Lifespan: Their adult life lasts for about three weeks during the summer. They have one or two broods each year, depending on the weather conditions.
- Host Plants: The preferred host plants for the Green-veined White include plants in the cabbage family, such as mustard, wild cabbage, and turnips.
The Green-veined White is not only beautiful but also an essential pollinator species in the ecosystem.
Make sure to keep an eye out for them the next time you find yourself in the Greek countryside.
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
The Meadow Brown is one of the most widespread butterflies inhabiting Greece.
This beautiful species is not only found in Greece but throughout Europe and North Africa.
Let’s dive into the fascinating aspects of this butterfly:
- Habitat: Meadows, grasslands, parks, woodland clearings, and gardens with a preference for sunny and flowery areas.
- Appearance: Males have brown wings with a single small white-pupilled black eyespot on the forewing; females have orange markings surrounding the eyespot.
- Size: Wingspan of 4-5 cm (1.6-2 inches)
- Diet: Butterflies feed on nectar from a wide range of wildflowers and cultivated plants.
- Reproduction: Females lay single eggs on host plants; the caterpillar feeds on the leaves until they are ready to pupate.
- Lifespan: Adults live for approximately 3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Grasses like Poa, Festuca, Bromus, and Dactylis species.
The Meadow Brown can be spotted from late spring to early autumn, making it a pleasurable sight for butterfly enthusiasts visiting Greece during these periods.
So, keep an eye out for this charming butterfly during your nature walks, and cherish the beauty of Greece’s butterfly species.
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
Small Heath butterflies are common throughout Greece and can be easily spotted due to their distinct color and pattern.
In this section, we will explore more about Small Heath butterflies, their habitat, appearance, size, diet, reproduction, lifespan, and host plants.
- Habitat: Small Heaths primarily inhabit dry grasslands, meadows, wasteland, and open woodland edges.
- Appearance: Small Heaths display ochre-colored wings with a distinct band of orange spots on the outer edges. The underside of their wings is pale with a series of faint spots.
- Size: These butterflies have a wingspan of about 25-35mm, making them relatively small.
- Diet: Small Heaths primarily feed on nectar from various flowers, such as daisies, clovers, and bird’s-foot trefoil.
- Reproduction: These butterflies lay eggs singly on the food plant of the caterpillar. The eggs hatch into caterpillars after about two weeks.
- Lifespan: The adult Small Heath butterfly has a relatively short lifespan of a few weeks.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars of Small Heaths mainly feed on various grass species, predominantly fine-leaved grasses such as sheep’s fescue and common bent.
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
The Painted Lady is a breathtaking butterfly that you might find fluttering around Greece.
Its vibrant colors and fascinating behavior make this species a favorite of many visitors and locals alike.
Here’s a closer look at some of this stunning butterfly’s features:
- Habitat: Painted Ladies can be found in various habitats, such as meadows, gardens, and even city parks. They adapt well to different environments, making them widespread across Greece and other countries.
- Appearance: The Painted Lady has a striking pattern of orange, black, and white markings on its wings, making it easily recognizable among other butterflies.
- Size: These butterflies have a wingspan of approximately 5-9 cm, making them medium-sized butterflies.
- Diet: They feed primarily on nectar from various flowering plants, providing essential nutrients for their survival and reproduction.
- Reproduction: The Painted Lady mates during the spring and summer months. The female then lays her eggs on thehost plants where the caterpillars will feed upon hatching.
- Lifespan: The adult Painted Lady typically lives for two to four weeks, making the most of its brief time on Earth by laying eggs and fueling up on nectar.
- Host Plants: Their caterpillars feed on a variety of plants, such as thistles, mallows, and other members of the Asteraceae family. These plants provide essential nutrients required for their metamorphosis into adult butterflies.
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
The Red Admiral is a beautiful and striking butterfly species in Greece. No doubt, you’ll be captivated by its vibrant color when you encounter one.
Here’s what you need to know about the Red Admiral:
- Habitat: Red Admirals are found in a variety of environments, including gardens, meadows, woodland edges, and even city parks.
- Appearance: The upper side of the wings displays a rich, velvety black background with prominent red bands and white spots. The underside is a duller, camouflaged pattern.
- Size: The average wingspan of the Red Admiral is around 5-6 cm.
- Diet: Adult butterflies enjoy nectar from flowers such as buddleia, thistles, and ivy. Their caterpillars feed on stinging nettles and hop plants.
- Reproduction: Females lay small, green, barrel-shaped eggs on the leaves of host plants. The eggs take about a week to hatch, and the caterpillar takes another month to develop.
- Lifespan: Adult Red Admirals typically live around 4-6 weeks.
- Host Plants: The main host plants for Red Admirals are stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and hop plants (Humulus lupulus).
Next time you’re in Greece, keep an eye out for the beautiful Red Admiral and appreciate its striking appearance and fascinating life cycle.
Peacock (Aglais io)
The Peacock butterfly, scientifically known as Aglais io, is a stunning species that showcases its beauty throughout Greece.
Its name originates from the eye-like markings on its wings, which are similar to those found on peacock feathers.
- Habitat: Peacock butterflies can be found in a variety of environments, such as gardens, woodlands, meadows, and even urban areas.
- Appearance: The wings of this butterfly are adorned with bold red, blue, and black colors, and feature mesmerizing eye-like spots that deter predators.
- Size: Peacock butterflies are medium-sized, with a wingspan of about 2.3 – 2.7 inches (58 – 68 mm).
- Diet: These butterflies enjoy nectar from various flowers, including lavender, buddleia, and thistles.
- Reproduction: The female Peacock butterfly lays her eggs on nettle plants, where caterpillars can feed on their leaves after hatching.
- Lifespan: Peacock butterflies have a lifespan of around 11 months, making them one of the longest-living butterflies.
- Host Plants: While nettle plants serve as the primary host, Peacock caterpillars may also feed on other species such as small nettle and hop.
Comma (Polygonia c-album)
The Comma butterfly is a fascinating species that can be found in Greece, as well as other parts of Europe and Asia.
This unique butterfly gets its name from the white comma-shaped markings on its underside.
Here’s everything you should know about this intriguing butterfly:
- Habitat: This butterfly species prefers a variety of habitats, including woodlands, gardens, hedgerows, and even along the roadside.
- Appearance: The Comma has distinctively jagged wings and a beautiful combination of orange and brown colors on its upper side.
- Size: These butterflies have a wingspan of 4.5 to 6.4 centimeters, making them medium-sized among butterfly species.
- Diet: As adults, Commas mainly feed on nectar from flowers, but they are also known to enjoy overripe fruit.
- Reproduction: The Comma butterfly goes through two generations each year, with the latter generation overwintering as adults.
- Lifespan: Their life expectancy is approximately three weeks during the summer, while overwintering individuals can live up to 9 months.
- Host Plants: The larvae of the Comma butterfly particularly enjoy feeding on plants like nettles, hops, and elm.
So, when exploring the beautiful landscapes of Greece, keep an eye out for this remarkable butterfly with its distinct wing shape and vibrant colors!
Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius)
The Scarce Swallowtail, also known as the Sail Swallowtail, is a stunning butterfly species native to Greece.
Its name might suggest that these butterflies are rare, but they can actually be spotted quite frequently throughout the country.
- Habitat: This species favors open woodlands, meadows, and orchards, thriving in warm and sunny conditions.
- Appearance: Scarce Swallowtails boast a dazzling array of colors including white, black, and yellow. The most striking feature is the elongated tails on their hindwings, resembling a swallow’s tail.
- Size: With a wingspan ranging between 50 to 80 mm, these elegant butterflies are easy to spot among other species.
- Diet: Adult Scarce Swallowtails feed from a variety of nectar-producing flowers such as lavender, thistles, and red valerian.
- Reproduction: Mating typically occurs in spring and summer, with females laying eggs on host plants. The caterpillars hatch and pass through several growth stages before forming a chrysalis, emerging as adults the following year.
- Lifespan: Adult Scarce Swallowtails have a short lifespan of around a month, mostly being active during the summer months.
- Host Plants: The key host plants for this species are blackthorn and wild cherry, which the larvae feed on throughout their development.
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
The Speckled Wood is a gorgeous butterfly species that you should keep an eye out for when you are exploring Greece.
Part of the Nymphalidae family, this charming little creature has some unique features that make it stand out from its fellow butterfly friends.
Here is some more information about the Speckled Wood:
- Habitat: Found in wooded areas, gardens, and along forest edges.
- Appearance: Sports a beautiful pattern of cream and brown spots on its wings, resembling dappled sunlight through leaves.
- Size: Adult wingspan typically ranges from 32 to 45mm.
- Diet: Feeds primarily on nectar from a variety of flowers such as dandelions and brambles, while the caterpillars feed on grasses.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on grass leaves or other sheltered locations, allowing the caterpillars to grow in relative safety.
- Lifespan: Adults typically live for around three weeks during their flying season.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars rely on several species of grasses, including cock’s-foot, creeping soft grass, and Yorkshire fog.
The Speckled Wood is a delightful butterfly that adds charm and fascination to the rich biodiversity of Greece.
So, when you’re out on a nature walk, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these beautiful insects.
Grayling (Hipparchia semele)
The Grayling is one of the fascinating butterfly species found in Greece.
It is named after its gray and brown color pattern, which helps it blend well with its surrounding environment.
Here’s what you need to know about this elusive butterfly:
- Habitat: Graylings prefer open and sunny areas with grass or vegetation, such as meadows, heaths, and coastal dunes.
- Appearance: The upper side of the Grayling is gray to brown with black and orange markings, while the underside has a cryptic pattern that resembles tree bark or dried leaves.
- Size: This butterfly has a wingspan of approximately 5-6 cm, making it a medium-sized species.
- Diet: Adult Graylings feed on nectar from various plants, such as thistles, knapweed, and heather.
- Reproduction: Grayling females lay their eggs singly on or near the host plants. The caterpillars feed on grasses, growing and molting through several stages before pupating.
- Lifespan: The adult Grayling usually has a short life, lasting around three weeks.
- Host Plants: Grayling caterpillars primarily feed on various grass species, including fescues, bents, and bluegrasses.
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)
The Common Blue is a fascinating and attractive butterfly species that can be found in various parts of Greece.
With its striking beauty and admirable adaptability, it’s a species definitely worth learning more about.
Here are some interesting facts about the Common Blue:
- Habitat: These butterflies usually inhabit grasslands, meadows, pastures, and other open and sunny areas with plentiful supply of flowers.
- Appearance: The upper side of the male’s wings is an eye-catching blue color, while the female displays a brownish hue with a row of orange spots along the wing edges. Both sexes possess intricate patterns on the underside of their wings.
- Size: With a wingspan ranging between 1.57 to 1.77 inches (4-4.5 cm), Common Blue butterflies are comparatively small in size.
- Diet: They feed primarily on the nectar of various flowers, and their caterpillars munch on the leaves of plants such as clover and common bird’s-foot trefoil.
- Reproduction: After mating, females lay their eggs on host plants, which later hatch into caterpillars and eventually become adults through a process called metamorphosis.
- Lifespan: An adult Common Blue butterfly will typically live around two to four weeks, during which it will reproduce and help maintain the species’ population.
- Host Plants: They rely on plants like clover, trefoil, and horseshoe vetch for laying eggs, feeding their caterpillars, and surviving through their life cycles.
Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros)
The Large Tortoiseshell, a stunning butterfly species native to Greece, is truly a sight to behold.
Known for its attractive appearance and unique habits, it is a favorite among butterfly enthusiasts.
Below, you’ll find fascinating details about the Large Tortoiseshell.
- Habitat: Often found in mixed deciduous woodlands, hedgerows, and orchards, these butterflies tend to prefer sunlit spots over the forested floors.
- Appearance: The wings showcase an intricate blend of yellow, orange, and black, with a distinctive border resembling a tortoiseshell pattern – hence the name.
- Size: With a wingspan ranging from 50-75 mm, the Large Tortoiseshell is considered a medium-sized butterfly species.
- Diet: Adults primarily feed on nectar from a variety of flowers, while the caterpillars munch on the leaves of their host plants.
- Reproduction: The female lays her eggs on the undersides of host plant leaves, and the developing larvae form a communal web to protect themselves from predators.
- Lifespan: The Large Tortoiseshell enjoys a relatively long life, living up to 10-12 months as an adult.
- Host Plants: Mainly elm trees (Ulmus species), but occasionally willow (Salix species) and poplar (Populus species) trees are also suitable host plants for the caterpillars.
The Large Tortoiseshell is an intriguing butterfly species that graces the landscapes of Greece, offering beauty and wonder to all who encounter it.
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius)
The Two-tailed Pasha, also known as the Foxy Emperor, is one of the most enchanting butterfly species found in Greece.
It has a fascinating appearance and life cycle that is captivating to both nature lovers and butterfly enthusiasts alike.
Here are some quick facts about this unique butterfly:
- Habitat: The Two-tailed Pasha can be found in the Mediterranean region, including Greece, southern Europe, and North Africa. They prefer wooded areas near the sea, including olive groves and thorny scrublands.
- Appearance: This butterfly exhibits some striking features, such as its rich brown color with beautiful orange spots and white bands on the wings. Additionally, the two noticeable tails on the hind wings give it its name.
- Size: The Two-tailed Pasha is a fairly large butterfly, with a wingspan measuring between 6 to 8 centimeters.
- Diet: The adults mainly feed on tree sap, overripe fruits, and sometimes even animal dung.
- Reproduction: The females lay their eggs singly on the leaves of their host plants.
- Lifespan: Adult Two-tailed Pasha butterflies typically live for about a month during the summer, whereas the entire life cycle takes about one year.
- Host Plants: The larvae mainly feed on the leaves of strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), laurustinus (Viburnum tinus), and mock privets (Phillyrea species).
Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea didyma)
The Spotted Fritillary is a fascinating butterfly species found throughout Greece.
As you explore the Greek countryside, you may come across this beautiful insect, and you’ll be sure to marvel at its vibrant colors and interesting patterns.
Here’s some quick information about the Spotted Fritillary:
- Habitat: This butterfly thrives in various habitats, including meadows, grasslands, and woodland clearings with plenty of sunshine and blooming wildflowers.
- Appearance: The Spotted Fritillary boasts eye-catching orange wings with bold black markings, creating a unique and captivating pattern.
- Size: With a wingspan of around 40 to 50 mm, it’s a medium-sized butterfly that’s easy to spot when it’s resting or in flight.
- Diet: As adults, these butterflies mainly feed on nectar from wildflowers, resulting in a diet rich in sugary nutrients.
- Reproduction: The female Spotted Fritillary lays her eggs on the leaves of host plants, ensuring their offspring have a food source upon hatching.
- Lifespan: Adults can live anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months depending on the availability of food and suitable habitat conditions.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars primarily feed on various violet species (Viola spp.) and occasionally on plantains (Plantago spp.), ensuring a consistent food supply throughout their larval stage.
Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia)
The Queen of Spain Fritillary is a beautiful butterfly species, found in Greece and other parts of southern Europe.
It is characterized by its distinctive pattern of orange and black, with silver spots on the undersides of its wings, which give it a stunning appearance.
The following bullet points provide more information about this fascinating butterfly:
- Habitat: Queen of Spain Fritillaries are found in various habitats, such as grasslands, meadows, woodland clearings, and even in gardens.
- Appearance: The upper side of its wings is orange and black with white fringes, while the underside has a mosaic pattern with silver spots.
- Size: The wingspan of this fritillary species ranges between 35-50mm (1.4-2 inches) across.
- Diet: Adult butterflies feed on nectar from a variety of flowers, such as thistles, vetches, and knapweeds.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on the leaves of their host plants, and caterpillars later feed on these plants as well.
- Lifespan: Though the adult butterflies have a rather short lifespan of 2-4 weeks, the entire life cycle from egg to adult takes around 6 weeks.
- Host Plants: The primary host plants for the Queen of Spain Fritillary include various members of the Viola family, such as violets and pansies, on which their caterpillars feed.
Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia)
The Silver-washed Fritillary is an enchanting butterfly species you’ll find while exploring Greece.
This graceful creature is known for its fascinating features and behaviors.
Here’s a quick look at some key aspects of the Silver-washed Fritillary:
- Habitat: They mainly inhabit woodland areas and forest edges, where their host plants are abundant.
- Appearance: These butterflies are identified by their distinctive, bright orange wings adorned with black markings and silver streaks on the underside.
- Size: They boast an impressive wingspan of 60 to 70 mm, making them one of the larger fritillary species.
- Diet: Adult Silver-washed Fritillaries primarily feed on nectar from various flowers like thistles and brambles.
- Reproduction: Males patrol their territory and pursue females for mating, after which the females lay eggs on the host plants.
- Lifespan: Adults typically live for around two weeks in their final form, although their entire life cycle spans from three to four months.
- Host Plants: The primary host plants for the Silver-washed Fritillary caterpillar include various species of violets, especially the common dog-violet.
So while you’re out exploring the beauty Greece has to offer, keep an eye out for the gorgeous Silver-washed Fritillary, and appreciate its unique characteristics.
High Brown Fritillary (Fabriciana adippe)
The High Brown Fritillary is a vibrant butterfly species found in Greece.
This fascinating creature is known for its beautiful patterns and interesting life cycle.
- Habitat: High Brown Fritillary butterflies can be found in open grasslands, woodland clearings, and sunny, rocky regions. These butterflies are attracted to warm, unshaded habitats with a variety of wildflowers.
- Appearance: This species possesses intricate patterns on its wings with orange and brown markings. The underside of their wings features a silver-spotted pattern, giving them a dazzling appearance.
- Size: The wingspan of the High Brown Fritillary typically ranges between 50 to 62 millimeters, making it one of the larger fritillary species.
- Diet: Adult butterflies feed on the nectar from various wildflowers, while caterpillars feed on the leaves of host plants.
- Reproduction: This butterfly species is single-brooded and lays its eggs singly on leaf litter in the vicinity of the host plants.
- Lifespan: The High Brown Fritillary has a total lifespan of approximately two months, with adult butterflies living for about two weeks.
- Host Plants: The primary host plants for the caterpillars are Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana), and Hairy Violet (Viola hirta).
Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia)
The Southern Gatekeeper, also known as Pyronia cecilia, is a charming butterfly species native to Greece that you might often encounter during your travels.
Known for its captivating beauty and eye-catching patterns, this butterfly leaves a lasting impression on nature enthusiasts and casual observers alike.
Here are some noteworthy facts about the Southern Gatekeeper:
- Habitat: Prefers Mediterranean scrublands and open woodland areas, especially near the coast.
- Appearance: Characterized by brown and orange color patterns on the wings, with a prominent white and black eyespot on each forewing.
- Size: Boasts a wingspan that ranges between 35-50 millimeters, making it a medium-sized butterfly.
- Diet: Feeds primarily on nectar from various flowering plants, such as thistles, knapweeds, and marjoram.
- Reproduction: Males engage in territorial perching behavior to attract females for mating, after which females lay their eggs on various species of grass.
- Lifespan: Adult butterflies live for roughly three weeks, while the entire life cycle spans approximately two months.
- Host Plants: The larvae feed on a variety of grass species, including Brachypodium, Dactylis, Poa, and Stipa.
Now that you’re familiar with the captivating Southern Gatekeeper, be sure to keep an eye out for them during your next trip to Greece.
And remember, there’s a whole world of fascinating butterfly species waiting to be discovered!
Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae)
The Mallow Skipper is a fascinating butterfly species native to Greece, playing an essential role in the pollination process and providing a visual delight for nature lovers.
Here are some key aspects of their life and habits:
- Habitat: This species’ preferred habitats include dry grasslands, meadows, and open woodlands, where it can utilize its excellent camouflage skills to blend in with the surroundings.
- Appearance: The Mallow Skipper features a charming mix of spotty brown and orange hues on both the upper and lower sides of its wings, which allow it to blend into the background seamlessly.
- Size: It is a relatively small butterfly, with a wingspan ranging between 28-32mm, making it challenging to spot, especially when it’s at rest.
- Diet: Adult Mallow Skippers feed on flower nectar, while their larvae consume leaves of various mallow species.
- Reproduction: Males of this species patrol their territory to search for receptive females. After mating, the females lay eggs on the chosen host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult Mallow Skipper lives around two to four weeks, with most of its life spent in the larval and pupal stages.
- Host Plants: Their larvae feed on various mallow species, including Malva sylvestris, Althaea officinalis, and Alcea rosea, which is essential for their growth and development.
Large Copper (Lycaena dispar)
The Large Copper is a fascinating butterfly species you can find in Greece. This brightly colored and lively butterfly adds a touch of beauty to the Greek countryside.
Let’s take a closer look at the Large Copper:
- Habitat: Large Coppers are typically found in damp meadows, marshes, and fens where their host plants thrive.
- Appearance: The Large Copper is easily recognized by its vibrant orange wings with a dark brown margin and numerous black spots. The underside of the wings is grayish-brown with small black markings.
- Size: These butterflies have a wingspan of about 30-40 mm, making them easy to spot as they flutter around.
- Diet: Adults mainly feed on nectar from flowers such as thistles, knapweed, and dandelions.
- Reproduction: Large Coppers lay their eggs individually on the leaves of host plants. The caterpillars then feed on the leaves, growing until they are ready to pupate.
- Lifespan: The adult Large Copper butterfly has a short lifespan, living for only around two weeks.
- Host Plants: The favorite host plants of Large Copper caterpillars include Great Water Dock and Water Dock.
So now you know a bit more about the Large Copper, one of the 30 beautiful butterfly species you can encounter in Greece.
Keep an eye out for these brightly colored butterflies next time you visit Greece’s picturesque landscapes.
Brown Argus (Aricia agestis)
Brown Argus, a fascinating butterfly species found in Greece, belongs to the family of Lycaenidae.
Known for its adaptability and extraordinary beauty, the Brown Argus will definitely catch your attention.
- Habitat: These butterflies prefer open habitats such as grasslands, meadows, and verges, where they can find their host plants.
- Appearance: Brown Argus has brownish wings with small orange spots and a blue sheen near the body. The hindwings have a distinctive pattern of white-bordered black spots.
- Size: Small in size, the Brown Argus has a wingspan of around 29-32mm.
- Diet: The main food source for this butterfly is the nectar extracted from the flowers of their host plants.
- Reproduction: The female Argus lays eggs singly on the host plant’s leaves or flowers. The caterpillars hatch and feed on the host plants in about a week.
- Lifespan: Brown Argus butterflies have a short life, with an adult only living for a few weeks.
- Host Plants: They mainly depend on Rockrose, Common Storks-bill, and Crane’s Bill plants as hosts for their caterpillars.
As you discover the various butterfly species in Greece, make sure to keep an eye out for the Brown Argus. Its remarkable beauty and fascinating lifecycle make it a must-see species.
Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron)
The Purple-shot Copper is a fascinating butterfly species found in Greece, and it is known for its striking appearance and intriguing life cycle.
This beautiful insect is a must-see for any butterfly enthusiast or naturalist exploring the flora and fauna of Greece.
Here’s some quick information about the Purple-shot Copper:
- Habitat: Grassy meadows, flowery slopes, and woodland clearings
- Appearance: Males have copper-colored wings with purple iridescence, while females have brown wings with orange markings
- Size: Wingspan ranges from 25 to 35 millimeters
- Diet: The adult butterflies feed on nectar from various flowers, including thistles and marjoram
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs on the leaves of the host plant, which hatch into caterpillars after about two weeks
- Lifespan: Adults live for 2-3 weeks, but the entire life cycle from egg to adult can take up to a year depending on environmental conditions
- Host Plants: Caterpillars mainly feed on sorrel (Rumex species) and other plants in the dock family
Make sure to keep an eye out for the Purple-shot Copper while exploring Greece’s diverse habitats, and appreciate not just its stunning beauty but also its vital role in the ecosystem!
Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus)
The Clouded Yellow butterfly is a striking species native to Greece. These butterflies add a pop of vibrant color to the country’s landscape and are a favorite among butterfly enthusiasts.
Here’s some information about this fascinating species:
- Habitat: Clouded Yellows can be found in open habitats, such as meadows, grasslands, agricultural fields, and woodland edges. They prefer sunny locations with flowering plants.
- Appearance: The Clouded Yellow features rich golden-yellow wings with a dark black border. The males have solid black borders, while the females have a black border with yellow spots.
- Size: The wingspan of the Clouded Yellow ranges between 5 to 6 centimeters.
- Diet: The adults feed on the nectar of various flowering plants, especially those from the legume and pea families.
- Reproduction: Clouded Yellows produce two or three generations per year, with the adult females laying their eggs on various host plants.
- Lifespan: The average lifespan of a Clouded Yellow butterfly in the wild is 6 to 10 weeks.
- Host Plants: Clouded Yellows lay eggs on various legume plants, including clovers, vetches, and trefoils.
The Clouded Yellow is a captivating butterfly species treasured for its beauty and vibrant colors.
Nature lovers in Greece take great pleasure in spotting these gems during their walks in the countryside.
Scarce Copper (Lycaena virgaureae)
The Scarce Copper (Lycaena virgaureae) is a stunning butterfly that graces the landscapes of Greece with its unique and captivating appearance.
As you might have guessed from its name, the Scarce Copper isn’t a butterfly you’ll see at every turn. Nevertheless, it’s well worth the search!
Let’s dive into what makes this butterfly so fascinating:
- Habitat: Found in open grasslands, woodland clearings, and mountainous regions, the Scarce Copper thrives in areas where its host plants are abundant.
- Appearance: Sporting a striking orange color with black markings on its upper wings and a grayish-brown underside with purple iridescence, the Scarce Copper is truly a sight to behold.
- Size: With a wingspan that can range between 22-30mm, the Scarce Copper is a small yet captivating butterfly.
- Diet: As an adult butterfly, the Scarce Copper mainly feeds on nectar from various flowering plants, while caterpillars munch on leaves and flowers of their host plants.
- Reproduction: Males establish territories to attract females, who then lay their eggs on host plants to kick-start the lifecycle process.
- Lifespan: Adult Scarce Copper butterflies have a relatively short lifespan, typically not living longer than a few weeks.
- Host Plants: Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and other plants from the Polygonaceae family are essential to the lifecycle of the Scarce Copper butterfly.
Now that you know more about this incredible butterfly species, don’t forget to keep an eye out for them next time you’re exploring the beauty of Greece!
In conclusion, Greece is home to a dazzling array of butterfly species, each with its unique features and characteristics.
From the striking Swallowtail to the delicate Clouded Yellow, these winged beauties add charm and vibrancy to the Greek landscape.
We invite you to share your thoughts or experiences with these fascinating insects in the comments below.