Butterflies of Europe
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
female, 1st brood ©
There are 9 Araschnia species. The
genus is centred on the temperate regions of China and the Far East,
but one species levana is found across
most of Europe and temperate Asia.
Araschnia levana exhibits very pronounced seasonal
dimorphism. Both sexes of the spring brood are bright orange, marked
with black spots and blotches that almost obscure the basal area of
the wings. In contrast the summer generation adults are black with
white spots and bands, and are very reminiscent of a small
Araschnia levana is found across central Europe, and it's
range extends across temperate Asia to China, Korea and Japan.
2nd brood, Hor valley, BŁkk hills, Hungary
© Peter Bruce-Jones
species is found in open deciduous woodlands, along riverbanks, and
on farmland where the larval foodplant stinging nettle is profuse.
eggs are pale green and are laid on top of each other in long
strings hanging from leaves of Urtica ( Urticaceae ). The
caterpillars are black, speckled along the back with pale yellow,
and have dark orange multi-branched spikes along the back and sides.
The chrysalis is pale brown, marbled and flecked with olive. It is
compact in shape, and is suspended by the cremaster from a stem of
sexes nectar at a wide range of herbaceous plants. Males imbibe
mineralised moisture from damp soil.