30 Butterfly Species in Netherlands
Welcome to the enchanting world of butterflies in the Netherlands! This tiny country is home to an amazing diversity of 30 different butterfly species.
Let’s embark on a journey to discover and learn about these colorful and delicate creatures.
Small White (Pieris rapae)
The Small White butterfly is a widespread and common species in the Netherlands, known for its charming and undemanding nature.
It is a fascinating creature that should not be overlooked when discussing the diverse butterfly species found in the country.
Let’s delve deeper into the life of the Small White:
- Habitat: Ranging from gardens, meadows, parks to woodland edges, you will often spot the Small White in various habitats across the country.
- Appearance: Exhibiting white wings with small black markings, this species has an unmistakable and elegant appearance.
- Size: Sporting a moderate wingspan of 3.2-4.7 cm, the Small White is a medium-sized butterfly.
- Diet: Primarily feeding on nectar from flowering plants, this butterfly also enjoys visiting vegetable gardens, which can sometimes lead to crop damage.
- Reproduction: After mating, the female lays her eggs on host plants. Caterpillars emerge within a week, feed on leaves, and eventually transform into chrysalises.
- Lifespan: The Small White lives for around 3-4 weeks as an adult butterfly.
- Host Plants: You may find these butterflies hovering over plants like cabbage, broccoli, and other species from the Brassicaceae family, as these are their preferred host plants.
Large White (Pieris brassicae)
The Large White, also known as the cabbage white or cabbage butterfly, is a popular butterfly species found in the Netherlands.
It is widely distributed and can sometimes cause damage to crops. This species is prevalent in Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
- Habitat: The Large White can be found in various habitats, including gardens, meadows, hedgerows, and agricultural areas, where their host plants are abundant.
- Appearance: It has a predominantly white color with black tips on its upper wings, which is darker and more extensive in females.
- Size: Its wingspan is about 50-65mm, making it larger than the Small White butterfly.
- Diet: Adult Large Whites primarily feed on nectar from flowers like thistles and marjoram.
- Reproduction: Females lay their yellowish eggs in clusters on the undersides of leaves, typically on plants from the Brassicaceae family.
- Lifespan: The adult butterfly has a short life, usually living for only two to four weeks.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars feed on a variety of plants, especially cruciferous species such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, making them sometimes considered as pests.
Green-veined White (Pieris napi)
The Green-veined White is one of the most widespread and common butterfly species in the Netherlands.
This adaptable species can be found in various habitats and is quite easy to identify due to its unique appearance.
Here are some key features of the Green-veined White:
- Habitat: Often found in grassy areas, meadows, woodland clearings, and hedgerows.
- Appearance: Primarily white with delicate green-grey veins on the undersides of its wings, which help it blend in among plants.
- Size: Medium-sized butterfly with a wingspan of approximately 40-50mm.
- Diet: Adults primarily feed on nectar from a variety of flowers, such as dandelions and white umbellifers.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs on the underside of host plant leaves. The emerging caterpillars feed on these plants for roughly 3-4 weeks before pupating.
- Lifespan: The adult Green-veined White butterfly typically lives for about 2-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars feed on plants in the Brassicaceae family, such as wild cabbages, wild mustard, and watercress.
So, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the elegant Green-veined White when exploring the Dutch countryside!
Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
The Orange-tip butterfly is one of the most fascinating species you can find in the Netherlands.
It is a striking butterfly known for its vibrant orange patches on the wings, which make it easily recognizable.
Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of this fascinating butterfly:
- Habitat: Orange-tip butterflies can be found in a wide variety of habitats, from woodland margins and meadows to gardens and hedgerows.
- Appearance: Males have white wings with a bright orange tip, while female wings are white with black and gray patterns. Both genders have mossy green marbled patterns on the underside of their wings.
- Size: The wingspan of Orange-tip butterflies is between 45 and 55 mm.
- Diet: Adult butterflies feed primarily on nectar from flowers, including garlic mustard, cuckooflower, and lady’s smock.
- Reproduction: Orange-tip butterflies mate in spring, and females lay their eggs on plants within the mustard family.
- Lifespan: The adult Orange-tip butterfly lives for about three weeks.
- Host Plants: The larvae of Orange-tips feed exclusively on plants from the mustard family, particularly the Cuckooflower, garlic mustard, and hedge mustard.
Now that you know more about the Orange-tip butterfly, be sure to look out for these eye-catching creatures during your next trip to the Netherlands.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
The Small Copper, also known as Lycaena phlaeas, is a charming butterfly species that can be found in a variety of environments throughout the Netherlands.
With its distinctive markings and vibrant coloration, it’s a fascinating subject for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.
Let’s delve deeper into the characteristics of this attractive butterfly:
- Habitat: Small Copper butterflies prefer open habitats such as grasslands, heathlands, and meadows – in both rural and urban settings.
- Appearance: The upper side of the wings features bright orange color, with black spots and black margins. On the hindwings, there are rows of striking blue spots.
- Size: Small Copper butterflies have a wingspan ranging from 25 to 35 millimeters.
- Diet: As adults, these butterflies feed on nectar from flowers such as dandelion, thistles, and common ragwort.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves of their host plants. The caterpillars hatch after about a week, going through several stages before forming a chrysalis.
- Lifespan: The adult Small Copper can live up to 3 weeks during its one or two generations from May to September.
- Host Plants: The primary larval food plants for Small Copper caterpillars are sorrel (Rumex species) and dock (Rumex species).
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)
The Common Blue is a fascinating butterfly species you can find in the Netherlands.
As one of the most widespread butterflies, the Common Blue can be spotted in various locations throughout the country.
Here’s what you should know about this lovely creature:
- Habitat: Common Blues prefer open grassy areas like meadows, heathland, roadside verges, and even wasteland.
- Appearance: Males have a striking blue color on their upper wings, while females exhibit a brown hue with some blue hues near the body. Both sexes display orange spots and a row of chequered marks along the wing edges.
- Size: With a wingspan of around 29-37mm, the Common Blue is a relatively small butterfly.
- Diet: Like most butterflies, they primarily feed on nectar from various flowers, such as thistles, bird’s-foot trefoil, and clover.
- Reproduction: The species produces two generations per year, with the first generation emerging in late May and the second in August.
- Lifespan: Adult Common Blues generally live for 2-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Their caterpillars feed on leguminous plants, with bird’s-foot trefoil being their primary host plant.
Keep an eye out for the Common Blue when exploring the beautiful Dutch countryside. You’ll surely appreciate its enchanting colors and wonder about its lifecycle.
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
The Holly Blue, also known as Celastrina argiolus, is a butterfly species native to the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.
It’s a fascinating species, admired for its beautiful color and intriguing life cycle.
Let’s dive into some specifics that make the Holly Blue a special butterfly:
- Habitat: They predominantly inhabit woodland edges, hedgerows, parks, and gardens, thriving in urban areas and suburban environments.
- Appearance: Holly Blue butterflies boast a distinctive bright blue color on the upper wings, with a white fringe on the edges, while their lower wings display a light grayish-blue hue with small black spots.
- Size: Typically, their wingspan ranges from 26 to 34 mm, making them a small, yet eye-catching butterfly.
- Diet: As adults, they primarily feed on flower nectar, particularly from holly, ivy, and other blossoms in their habitat.
- Reproduction: Holly Blues have two generations each year, with the first brood emerging in April to June and the second between July and August.
- Lifespan: An adult Holly Blue has a relatively short lifespan of 2-3 weeks, with their entire life cycle lasting around a month from egg to death.
- Host Plants: The female Holly Blue lays her eggs on new shoots of Holly (Ilex aquifolium) during the first generation and on the stems of Ivy (Hedera helix) in the second generation, which serves as food sources for their caterpillars.
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
The Red Admiral is a remarkable butterfly species often recognized for its conspicuous wings and widespread distribution.
They have a distinct and fascinating life cycle, and their characteristics are as follows:
- Habitat: Typically found in various environments, including gardens, woodlands, and meadows, throughout the Netherlands.
- Appearance: Characterized by their striking black wings with red bands and white spots, making them easily distinguishable from other butterfly species.
- Size: With a wingspan ranging between 65 and 78mm, the Red Admiral is considered a medium-sized butterfly species.
- Diet: Adults primarily feed on nectar from flowers, while the caterpillars feed on leaves of host plants, such as nettles.
- Reproduction: They lay single, green eggs on the upper side of leaves, giving birth to one generation per year, typically between May and October.
- Lifespan: Although adults live for about 3 weeks, the entire life cycle from egg to adult takes around 45 days.
- Host Plants: The main host plant for Red Admiral caterpillars is the Small Nettle (Urtica urens), but they have also been known to feed on other nettles.
The Red Admiral is a fascinating butterfly species that can be found throughout the Netherlands.
With their stunning appearance and unique life cycle, they are certainly worth observing.
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
The Painted Lady is a fascinating and colorful butterfly that is quite commonly found in the Netherlands.
Its vibrant colors and patterns make it a favorite among butterfly enthusiasts.
Here’s what you need to know about this captivating species:
- Habitat: Painted Ladies can be found in various habitats including gardens, meadows, and woodland edges. They are migratory species, so their range is quite extensive.
- Appearance: This butterfly has striking orange and black markings on its wings, with smaller white and black details. The underside of their wings is a more cryptic brown with intricate patterns.
- Size: The Painted Lady has a wingspan of about 5-9 cm, making it a medium-sized butterfly.
- Diet: They primarily feed on nectar from various flowers, such as thistles, and will also enjoy some fruits.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on the leaves of host plants. Caterpillars emerge and feed on the plant until they are ready to pupate.
- Lifespan: The adult Painted Lady butterfly typically live for 2-4 weeks. However, the entire lifecycle takes around 4-6 weeks.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars have a preference for plants such as thistles, mallows, and nettles as their primary food source.
Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
The Small Tortoiseshell is one of the most common and widespread butterflies in the Netherlands.
It’s a colorful species that’s easily recognized by its vibrant patterns and markings.
Here’s some basic information about this fascinating butterfly:
- Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats such as gardens, meadows, woodlands, and along roadsides
- Appearance: Displays orange and yellow wings with black markings, blue crescent spots near the edges, and white spots on black wingtips
- Size: Adult wing span ranges between 45-62mm
- Diet: Prefers nectar from various flowers, particularly thistles and buddleia
- Reproduction: Mates during spring and summer, with females laying eggs on host plants
- Lifespan: Adult butterflies live for 2-3 weeks, while the entire life cycle takes around 5 months
- Host Plants: Mainly nettles (Urtica dioica), but may also use other Urtica species as their larval food plants
These beautiful butterflies are a common sight in the Netherlands, and their presence adds a vibrant touch to the country’s already rich biodiversity.
Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io)
The Peacock Butterfly, scientifically known as Aglais io, is a stunning and easily recognizable species found in the Netherlands.
It’s not only known for its mesmerizing beauty but also for its fascinating behavior and adaptability.
Let’s explore these enchanting creatures in more detail:
- Habitat: Peacock butterflies can be found in various habitats, including gardens, woodlands, meadows, and hedgerows. They are a wide-spread species and can be found all over the Netherlands.
- Appearance: This species is popular for its eye-catching wing patterns, which resemble the feathers of a peacock. The wings display vibrant colors like red, purple, and blue, with four striking eye-spots that ward off predators.
- Size: The wingspan of an adult Peacock butterfly ranges from 50 mm to 55 mm, making it a medium-sized butterfly species.
- Diet: The main source of nutrition for these butterflies is nectar, coming from a variety of flowering plants such as thistles, knapweeds, and buddleias.
- Reproduction: These butterflies have a single brood per year. Females lay small clusters of eggs on the underside of the leaves of their host plants.
- Lifespan: Adult Peacock butterflies can live up to 11 months, with the possibility of overwintering in sheltered locations.
- Host Plants: The preferred host plants for Peacock butterfly caterpillars are mainly stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and, to a lesser extent, hops (Humulus lupulus).
Comma (Polygonia c-album)
The Comma butterfly is a fascinating species that can be found in Netherlands, known for its unique wing shape and eye-catching coloration.
Here are some interesting aspects of this wonderful creature:
- Habitat: It thrives in a variety of habitats such as woodlands, gardens, and hedgerows.
- Appearance: The butterfly features jagged-edged wings with an intricate design in shades of orange and brown, along with a small white ‘C’ shaped marking on the underside of the wings.
- Size: The wingspan of a Comma can range from 4.5 to 6 cm.
- Diet: As adults, they feed on nectar-producing flowers while the caterpillar feeds on common nettle and elm leaves.
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs individually on the host plants and the eggs hatch into caterpillars.
- Lifespan: The Comma butterfly generally has a lifespan of about 2 months.
- Host Plants: The caterpillar stage relies on common nettle and elm trees as host plants for food.
Now that you know more about the Comma butterfly, keep an eye out for this captivating species while exploring the Netherlands!
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
The Speckled Wood is one of the 30 beautiful butterfly species found in the Netherlands. This attractive butterfly displays a unique combination of earthy tones and striking patterns.
Here are some key features of the Speckled Wood butterfly:
- Habitat: These butterflies are commonly found in woodland areas, gardens, and hedgerows, basking in sunlit spots or flying around in dappled shade.
- Appearance: The Speckled Wood features brown wings adorned with bold cream-colored spots, creating a captivating contrast that stands out in its environment.
- Size: The wingspan of a Speckled Wood is 4-4.5 centimeters, making it a medium-sized butterfly.
- Diet: Their primary source of nourishment comes from honeydew produced by aphids, but they also feed on nectar from various flowers.
- Reproduction: Males establish territorial perches, where they wait for passing females to mate with. Females lay eggs singly on host plants.
- Lifespan: Adult Speckled Woods have a short life span of around 4 weeks, just enough time to reproduce and lay eggs.
- Host Plants: The primary host plants for Speckled Wood caterpillars include various grass species, especially Yorkshire Fog and Cocksfoot.
The Speckled Wood butterfly is a distinctive species that adds charm to the Netherlands’ butterfly population.
Its unique appearance and intriguing habits make it a fascinating subject for butterfly enthusiasts.
Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera)
The Wall Brown butterfly is one of the 30 butterfly species found in the Netherlands. It is a widespread species, although its population has been declining in some parts of Europe.
Let’s dive into some fascinating facts about this species:
- Habitat: Wall Brown butterflies prefer sunny and warm environments, such as forest edges, meadows, rocky terrain, and sunny woodland clearings.
- Appearance: These butterflies have orange-brown and black patterned wings, with a lighter orange spot near the wing edges. They have a distinctive eye-shaped spot on the tip of the forewings and four smaller spots on the hindwings.
- Size: The wingspan of the Wall Brown is approximately 4 to 5 cm.
- Diet: As adults, Wall Browns mostly feed on nectar from various flowers.
- Reproduction: Their mating season is from April to September, with two or three generations per year.
- Lifespan: Adults usually live for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars of the Wall Brown feed mainly on a variety of grasses, such as fescues and bents.
It’s always fascinating to learn about the diversity of butterflies in the Netherlands, and the Wall Brown is definitely an intriguing species.
Explore further to discover more about the other species that inhabit this beautiful country.
Grayling (Hipparchia semele)
The Grayling butterfly (Hipparchia semele) is a fascinating species that is native to the Netherlands and can be found throughout various parts of Europe.
This butterfly has a subtle beauty and intriguing behavior, making it a joy to observe in the wild.
Here is some key information to help you get to know the Grayling better:
- Habitat: Coastal dunes, heathlands, and woodland clearings
- Appearance: Brown to gray on the upper side with small black eyespots, and leaf-mimicking pattern on the underside
- Size: Wingspan of about 5 to 6 cm
- Diet: Adult Graylings primarily feed on nectar from plants like Thistles, Heather, and Bramble
- Reproduction: Lays eggs on host plants, which hatch into caterpillars after around 10 days
- Lifespan: Adult Graylings have a lifespan of about 3 to 4 weeks
- Host Plants: Various grass species, including Sheep’s Fescue, Common Bent, and Yorkshire Fog
The Grayling is a fascinating and unique butterfly species worth seeking out in the Dutch countryside.
With its beautiful and subtle colors, along with its remarkable ability to camouflage as a dead leaf, the Grayling butterfly adds a touch of charm and wonder to the Netherlands’ already rich biodiversity.
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
The Gatekeeper, also known as the Hedge Brown, is a beautiful butterfly species in the Netherlands. This marvelous creature can be commonly found in grasslands and forests.
Observe the following characteristics of the Gatekeeper:
- Habitat: This butterfly favors woodland edges, hedgerows, and grasslands, where it can be seen basking in patches of sunlight.
- Appearance: Gatekeepers exhibit orange and brown wings with a pattern of dark brown spots and white pupilled eyespots. Females have more patches of orange on their wings than males.
- Size: Adult Gatekeepers have a wingspan of about 35-45mm, making them relatively small compared to other species.
- Diet: As adults, Gatekeepers feed on nectar from various flowers such as bramble, thistles, and ragwort.
- Reproduction: Males are territorial and actively seek out females. After mating, females lay eggs singly on grass blades, close to wildflower-rich grasslands.
- Lifespan: The adult Gatekeeper butterfly has a short lifespan of about 3 weeks in summer, while the complete life cycle takes around a year.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars feed primarily on grass species like bents (Agrostis spp.), fescues (Festuca spp.), and meadow-grasses (Poa spp.).
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
The Meadow Brown butterfly is a common sight in the Netherlands. It is widely distributed across the country and can be seen in a variety of habitats.
These butterflies are known for their distinct markings, providing them with an easy camouflage.
Here are some key features about the Meadow Brown:
- Habitat: Grasslands, meadows, heathlands, woodlands, and urban gardens
- Appearance: Predominantly brown wings with an orange patch and a black eye-spot on the forewing
- Size: Wingspan of 35-55 mm
- Diet: Adult butterflies feed on nectar from a wide range of flowers
- Reproduction: Females lay eggs singly on the undersides of grass blades, hatching into green caterpillars
- Lifespan: Adults have a relatively short lifespan of 2-3 weeks, while the complete life cycle takes around one year
- Host Plants: Various grass species, including Yorkshire fog, creeping soft grass, and meadow foxtail
With its preference for feeding on a variety of flowers, the Meadow Brown plays a vital role in pollination.
This butterfly species is considered a valuable indicator of healthy ecosystems in the Netherlands and is often used to monitor biodiversity changes.
Being able to spot and identify the Meadow Brown amidst the diverse flora and fauna can truly enrich your Dutch countryside experience.
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
The Small Heath is a charming and widely distributed butterfly species found in various habitats across the Netherlands.
It is a delightful sight to observe flitting through grasslands and meadows.
Let’s learn more about this fascinating species:
- Habitat: Prefers open grassy habitats such as meadows, grasslands, roadside verges, and dunes.
- Appearance: Displays a pale brown upper-wing with small black spots, and a grayish-brown underwing featuring an incomplete white-ringed black spot.
- Size: Boasts a wingspan of around 25-32 mm, making it a relatively small butterfly.
- Diet: Adults feed primarily on flower nectar from plants like clover and bird’s-foot trefoil.
- Reproduction: Mates in late spring and early summer, with females laying single eggs on grass blades. The eggs hatch into caterpillars that primarily feed at night and later transform into chrysalises.
- Lifespan: Adult butterflies typically live for around one month, though the entire life cycle spans from May to September.
- Host Plants: Favors a variety of grass species, including fescue, bents, and meadow-grasses, where the larvae feed and develop before pupating.
The Small Heath is a delightful species to observe and study, making it a popular subject among butterfly enthusiasts in the Netherlands.
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)
The Ringlet butterfly is a member of the Nymphalidae family and is widely distributed across the Netherlands.
Its beauty and unique characteristics make it a popular subject for study and admiration.
Here is some information about the Ringlet butterfly:
- Habitat: These butterflies prefer damp grasslands, meadows, woodlands, and hedgerows.
- Appearance: The Ringlet has dark brown wings with distinctive small yellow-rimmed eyespots, and a white fringe on the wing edges.
- Size: Adult Ringlets typically have a wingspan measuring 34-48mm.
- Diet: They mainly feed on nectar from flowers such as thistles, brambles, and ragwort.
- Reproduction: Female Ringlets lay their eggs singly on blades of grass or rush leaves close to the ground.
- Lifespan: Adults typically live for 3-4 weeks during the months of June to August.
- Host Plants: The larval stage of the Ringlet feeds on various grasses, including cock’s-foot, common couch, and meadow-grass.
By familiarizing yourself with the traits and behavior of the Ringlet butterfly, you can enhance your butterfly-watching experience and gain a greater appreciation for the biodiversity found in the Netherlands.
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
The Brimstone butterfly is a fascinating species that can be found in the Netherlands.
They are known for their bright color and unique wing shape, which make them a captivating sight in any garden or meadow.
Let’s take a closer look at some key aspects of this beautiful butterfly:
- Habitat: Brimstone butterflies prefer open woodlands, hedgerows, and grassy meadows, where there is an abundance of their host plants.
- Appearance: Males have yellowish-green wings while females have a more subtle, pale green color. Both sexes have a unique leaf-like shape, making them easily camouflaged among foliage.
- Size: They have a wingspan of approximately 50–60 mm, making them easily distinguishable from other similar-sized butterflies.
- Diet: The adult Brimstone primarily feeds on nectar from various plants such as lavender and milkweed.
- Reproduction: After mating, females lay single eggs on the underside of the host plant’s leaves. The caterpillars will hatch and feed on these plants until they are ready to pupate.
- Lifespan: Adult Brimstones have a relatively long lifespan for a butterfly, with some living up to 13 months.
- Host Plants: Brimstone caterpillars predominantly feed on Buckthorn (Rhamnus) and Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) plants.
The Brimstone is a captivating and unique butterfly species, making it a delightful addition to the diverse array of butterflies found in the Netherlands.
Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus)
The Silver-studded Blue butterfly is a striking butterfly species that can be found throughout the Netherlands.
With its eye-catching appearance and interesting habits, it’s sure to captivate butterfly enthusiasts and casual observers alike.
Below, you’ll find some key information about this beautiful Dutch butterfly species:
- Habitat: Often found in heathlands, grasslands, and sandy areas with low-lying vegetation.
- Appearance: Males have bright blue wings with a black border and silver-blue spots on the underside. Females have brown wings with orange crescents and the same silver-blue spots on the underside.
- Size: Small, with a wingspan of around 28-34 mm.
- Diet: Adults feed on nectar from flowers like heather, thistles, and bird’s-foot trefoil.
- Reproduction: Mating occurs in June and July, with females laying eggs singly on the host plants.
- Lifespan: Adults typically live for about 2-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars feed on a range of plants, including heather, bell heather, and gorses.
The Silver-studded Blue butterfly is a fascinating and visually appealing species that adds a pop of color to the Dutch countryside.
Keep an eye out for these stunning creatures during your next walk or hike through the Netherlands.
Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus)
The Large Skipper is a fascinating butterfly species found in the Netherlands. This species is known for its distinctive appearance and behavior.
In this section, we’ll delve into the details of the Large Skipper’s habitat, appearance, size, diet, reproduction, lifespan, and host plants.
- Habitat: The Large Skipper can be found in various habitats in the Netherlands, including grasslands, meadows, woodland clearings, and roadside verges.
- Appearance: This butterfly features a brown and orange pattern on the upper side of its wings, with visible spots and streaks. On the underside, it has a more muted brown and greyish-green pattern.
- Size: The Large Skipper has a wingspan of about 30-35 mm, making it one of the larger butterflies within the Skipper family.
- Diet: Adult Large Skippers primarily feed on nectar from a variety of flowers, while their caterpillars feed on specific grasses.
- Reproduction: Large Skippers typically mate in June and July. After mating, the females lay their eggs on suitable host plants.
- Lifespan: The adults live for around 2-3 weeks, whereas the caterpillars can take up to 11 months to grow and develop into adults.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars of the Large Skipper feed on various grasses such as Cock’s-foot, False Brome, and Wavy Hair-grass.
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)
The Small Skipper is a charming little butterfly that can be found fluttering in the grasslands and meadows of the Netherlands.
This delightful species is characterized by its golden-brown wings and a distinctive hook-shaped tip on the antennae.
Let’s dive into some specific aspects of this butterfly:
- Habitat: Small Skipper butterflies are primarily found in grassy habitats, including meadows, roadside verges, and woodland clearings.
- Appearance: The upper side of their wings boasts a warm, golden-brown color with an orange patch on the forewings. The undersides are a paler shade of brown with faint white markings.
- Size: Small Skippers have a wingspan of about 25-30 mm, making them one of the smaller butterfly species found in the Netherlands.
- Diet: The adults feed mainly on the nectar of flowers such as thistles, knapweeds, and ox-eye daisies.
- Reproduction: The female lays her eggs on the grass blades, which serve as the larval food source. The caterpillars camouflage themselves by creating a shelter from the grass blades.
- Lifespan: Adults have a short lifespan of about 2-3 weeks, during which they mate and lay eggs.
- Host Plants: The caterpillars feed exclusively on various species of grasses, particularly Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus) and Creeping Soft Grass (Holcus mollis).
Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola)
The Essex Skipper is a small, charismatic butterfly that is native to the Netherlands.
This fascinating little creature has a lot to offer and is a delight to observe in its natural habitat.
Here, let’s discover more about the Essex Skipper and its intriguing characteristics:
- Habitat: The Essex Skipper typically inhabits grasslands, meadows, and other open areas with abundant grasses. It can also be found in urban environments, such as parks and gardens.
- Appearance: The Essex Skipper has a unique color scheme, featuring vibrant orange wings with dark brown tips and edges. It also has distinctly club-shaped antennae.
- Size: This small butterfly has a wingspan of approximately 25-30 mm.
- Diet: The Essex Skipper primarily feeds on nectar from various plants, including thistles, knapweeds, and hawkweeds.
- Reproduction: Mating occurs in mid to late summer, followed by the laying of eggs on grass stems. The caterpillars emerge the following spring and feed on the host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult Essex Skipper has a relatively short lifespan of about 3-4 weeks.
- Host Plants: The primary host plants for the Essex Skipper are various grass species, such as cocksfoot and creeping soft grass.
Glanville Fritillary (Melitaea cinxia)
The Glanville Fritillary is an enchanting butterfly species found in the Netherlands.
Named after the British entomologist Lady Eleanor Glanville, this species has captured the hearts of many butterfly enthusiasts.
Let’s explore some fascinating aspects of the Glanville Fritillary:
- Habitat: This butterfly prefers warm, sunlit habitats such as sand dunes and coastal areas. They are also found in open grasslands and meadows.
- Appearance: The Glanville Fritillary has a unique checkerboard pattern on its wings. Its dorsal side displays a striking orange-and-black design, while the ventral side reveals a more subtle, cream-and-brown color scheme.
- Size: They have a wingspan of about 36-48 mm.
- Diet: The adult butterflies primarily feed on nectar from flowers such as dandelions, vetches, and wild marjoram.
- Reproduction: Female butterflies lay eggs in clusters on host plants. The caterpillars go through a communal stage, forming a silk tent to protect themselves from predators.
- Lifespan: The adult Glanville Fritillary has a relatively short lifespan of 1-3 weeks.
- Host Plants: Plantain and ribwort are two common host plants for this species’ larvae.
So, next time you walk through a sunlit meadow, be sure to keep an eye out for the captivating Glanville Fritillary butterfly.
Dark Green Fritillary (Speyeria aglaja)
The Dark Green Fritillary is a striking butterfly species that you can find in the Netherlands. This beautiful species has some fascinating features that make it unique and easy to identify.
Let’s get to know more about the Dark Green Fritillary:
- Habitat: You can find these butterflies in open grasslands, meadows, and woodland clearings. They enjoy sunny spots with flowers where they can nectar.
- Appearance: The upper side of their wings is orange with dark markings, while the underside is mainly green with silver spots, giving the butterfly its name.
- Size: They have a wingspan of around 45-64 mm, making them a medium to large-sized butterfly.
- Diet: As adults, they mainly feed on nectar from various flowers, while the caterpillars feed on violets.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on or near host plants, which are mainly violets. The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which also feed on the host plants.
- Lifespan: The adults usually have a lifespan of around 3 weeks during the summer months.
- Host Plants: The main host plants for the Dark Green Fritillary are different species of violets, especially the Common Dog Violet (Viola riviniana) and Heath Dog Violet (Viola canina).
If you find yourself in the Netherlands, keep an eye out for the Dark Green Fritillary and enjoy observing these lovely creatures in their natural habitat.
High Brown Fritillary (Fabriciana adippe)
The High Brown Fritillary (Fabriciana adippe) is one of the most beautiful and fascinating butterfly species you can find in the Netherlands.
This striking butterfly is not only a visual treat but also plays a significant role in the ecosystem.
- Habitat: The High Brown Fritillary prefers open woodland, grasslands, meadows, and heathlands as their habitat.
- Appearance: Its wings showcase a stunning contrast of orange and black, adorned with intricate patterns and scalloped edges.
- Size: With a wingspan ranging between 46-62mm, it is one of the larger fritillary species.
- Diet: Adult butterflies feed on nectar from various flowers such as thistles, bramble, and knapweed.
- Reproduction: Males patrol the habitat in search of females, and after mating, females lay their eggs on dead leaves or stems near host plants.
- Lifespan: The High Brown Fritillary has a short lifespan, living a few weeks as an adult butterfly.
- Host Plants: Caterpillars primarily feed on violets, particularly the Common Dog Violet and Hairy Violet plants.
Spotting this marvelous butterfly is a delightful experience, and while it’s considered a vulnerable species, conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve the High Brown Fritillary population in the Netherlands.
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne)
The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is another fascinating butterfly species you can find in the Netherlands.
This stunning species is known for its distinct coloration and its wings’ intricate patterns.
Let’s dive deeper into the Pearl-bordered Fritillary’s characteristics:
- Habitat: They predominantly dwell in woodland clearings, open areas within forests, and occasionally in damp meadows. These habitats provide ample sunshine, which the butterflies require for basking and mating.
- Appearance: The upper side of their wings is bright orange, speckled with black spots. The underside features a sleek pearl-bordered pattern on a pale brownish background, adding to their exquisite beauty.
- Size: These butterflies have a wingspan of approximately 38-46 mm, making them a medium-sized species.
- Diet: As adults, they mainly feed on nectar from various flowering plants, including violets, bugle, and thistles.
- Reproduction: Females lay their eggs singly on or near their host plants. The caterpillars feed on the leaves until they are ready to pupate and transform into an adult butterfly.
- Lifespan: The adult Pearl-bordered Fritillary has a relatively short lifespan of around three weeks.
- Host Plants: Common Dog-violets (Viola riviniana) and Heath Dog-violets (Viola canina) serve as the primary host plants for the larval stage of this butterfly.
Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia)
The Marsh Fritillary is an enchanting butterfly species that is native to the Netherlands. It is particularly known for its striking appearance and fascinating life cycle.
Let’s delve deeper into this butterfly’s characteristics:
- Habitat: Marsh Fritillaries prefer damp grasslands, marshy areas, and wet heathlands, ensuring they have access to their larval food plants.
- Appearance: These butterflies boast a beautiful combination of contrasting shades, with dark brown and orange marbled pattern on their wings, and white markings on the wing edges.
- Size: The wingspan of a Marsh Fritillary typically ranges between 35 to 45 millimeters.
- Diet: Adult Marsh Fritillaries feed on nectar from various plants, such as daisies, knapweed, and thistles.
- Reproduction: Females lay large clusters of up to 350 eggs on the underside of the leaves of their host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult butterflies live for about two to three weeks.
- Host Plants: The primary larval food plant for the Marsh Fritillary is the Devil’s-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis), but they also feed on other plants from the Dipsacaceae family.
These captivating butterflies play a vital role in the ecosystem by pollinating plants and serving as food for various bird species.
Preserving their habitat is essential to ensure their survival and in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia)
The Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) is a remarkable butterfly species that you might come across in the Netherlands.
These butterflies are known for their beautiful patterns and fascinating behavior.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this species and discover what sets it apart from the rest:
- Habitat: Primarily found in deciduous woodlands, especially in areas with abundant sunlight like forest clearings and edges.
- Appearance: Easily identifiable by their dark brown and orange patterned wings with silver streaks on their underwings, giving them their name.
- Size: The wingspan of Silver-washed Fritillaries ranges from 54 to 70 mm, making them one of the larger fritillary species in the Netherlands.
- Diet: Adult butterflies feed mainly on the nectar of flowers such as bramble and thistles, while their caterpillars feed on violets.
- Reproduction: Mating usually takes place in July and females lay their eggs singly on the leaves of host plants.
- Lifespan: The adult butterfly lives for approximately 3 to 4 weeks, however, the complete life cycle lasts for about one year.
- Host Plants: Primarily feeds on violet plants, especially the common dog-violet (Viola riviniana) and the heath dog-violet (Viola canina).
In conclusion, the Netherlands is home to a diverse range of fascinating butterfly species, each with their own unique characteristics.
By learning about these creatures and their habitats, we can help to protect their populations and contribute to the overall biodiversity of the Dutch landscape.
Let us know in the comments if you have encountered any of these butterflies or if you have any interesting facts or stories about them!