Swallowtail - Butterflies found in Andalusia

Butterflies found in Spain

  • Papilionidae: Swallowtails, Festoon, Apollos.
  • Pieridae: Whites, Yellows, Orange tips.
  • Lycaenidae: Hairstreaks, Coppers, Blues.
  • Libytheidae: Nettle Tree Butterfly.
  • Nymphalidae: Admiral, Tortoiseshell, Fritillaries.
  • Satyridae: Browns, Heaths, Graylings, Marbled Whites.
  • Hesperidae: Skippers.
  • Dainadae: Plain tiger, Monarch.
  • The number of species of butterflies recorded in Iberia stands presently at 226 in the above family groups;

Many of the butterflies found in Spain are well known as they are common around much of Europe. There are however several species that are unique to Spain.

Whereas some species are sedentary, remaining close to their food plants and specific requirements, there are others that are migratory, travelling vast distances. One such migratory species is the Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) that sets out from North Africa in early spring reaching the UK around June.

Some of the species have such strict requirements to altitude, food plant availability, temperatures etc that they are quite rare. These are the ones most endangered by human developments within their areas. Two such species under threat from speculation of natural environments within Spain are the;

National and Natural Parks of Spain that have a high diversity of butterflies:


Butterflies of Spain

The list of butterflies found in Spain which spans an extensive range of biospheres including river deltas, desert, oak or pine forests, alpine and mountains zones.

Each separate section covers a family group, with the scientific names in alphabetical order in the first column followed by English common name and then Spanish common name for easier reference.

If the text in the list is green then please click through for images of the species and further information.

This list of butterflies found in Andalucía (Spain) is a work in progress.If you find any mistakes or would like to help out with the list please just email me at clive@wildsideholidays.co.uk


Scientific name – English Common Name – Spanish Common Name

DAINADAE – There are only two species from this family within Iberia. They are both large and unmistakably brightly coloured.


HESPERIIDAE – Skippers are small, fast flying butterflies, generally of brown colouring. The tip of the antennae is hooked and therefore differs from the club of normal butterflies. Some hold their forewings raised, others opened flat.

  • Borbo borbonica (Bahía de Cádiz) – Zeller’s Skipper – Borbo
  • Carcharodus alceae – Mallow Skipper – Piquitos Castaña
  • Carcharodus boeticus – Southern Marbled Skipper – Piquitos
  • Carcharodus floccifera – Tufted Marbled Skipper
  • Carcharodus lavatherae – Marbled Skipper – Piquitos Clara
  • Erynnis tages – Dingy Skipper – Cervantes
  • Gegenes nostrodamus – Mediterranean Skipper
  • Hesperia comma – Silver-spotted Skipper – Dorada Manchas Blanca
  • Muschampia proto – Sage Skipper – Polvillo Dorado
  • Ochlodes venatus – Large Skipper – Dorada Orla Ancha
  • Pyrgus alveus – Large Grizzled Skipper – Ajedrezada Serrana
  • Pyrgus armoricanus – Oberthür’s Grizzled Skipper – Ajedrezada Yunque
  • Pyrgus carthami – Safflower Skipper – Ajedrezada
  • Pyrgus cirsii – Cinquefoil Skipper – Ajedrezada Tórrida
  • Pyrgus malvoides – Southern Grizzled Skipper – Ajedrezada Menor
  • Pyrgus onopordi – Rosy Grizzled Skipper – Ajedrezada Bigornia
  • Pyrgus serratulae – Olive Skipper
  • Spialia sertorius – Red-underwing Skipper – Sertorio
  • Thymelicus acteon – Lulworth Skipper – Dorada Oscura
  • Thymelicus lineola – Essex Skipper – Dorada Linea Corta
  • Thymelicus sylvestris – Small Skipper – Dorada Línea Larga

LIBYTHEIDAE – There is only one butterfly of the Snout Butterfly found in Iberia and it is closely restricted geographically to its larval food plant “Celtis australis“.

  • Libythea celtis – Nettle-tree Butterfly – Mariposa del Almez

LYCAENIDAE – Blues, Hairstreaks and Coppers are generally small with brightly coloured scales, often with short tails, some with an eye spot by the tail to confuse predators.

  • Agrodiaetus fabressei – Oberthür’s Anomalous Blue – Velludita parda española
  • Agrodiaetus violetae – Andalusian Anomalous Blue – Velludita parda andaluza
  • Aricia (artaxerxes) montensis – Northern Brown Argus – Morena Alpina
  • Aricia cramera – Southern Brown Argus – Morena Serranilla
  • Aricia eumedon – Geranium Argus – Niña de los geranios
  • Aricia morronensis – Spanish Argus
  • Cacyreus marshalli – Geranium Bronze
  • Callophrys avis – Chapman’s Green Hairstreak – Cejirubia
  • Callophrys rubi – Green Hairstreak – Cejialba
  • Celastrina argiolus – Holly Blue – Nájade – Azul Celeste
  • Cupido lorquinii – Lorquin’s Blue – Duende Azul
  • Cupido carswelli – Small Blue – Duende Oscuro
  • Cupido osiris – Osiris Blue – Duende Mayor
  • Glaucopsyche alexis – Green-underside Blue – Manchas Verdes
  • Glaucopsyche melanops – Black-eyed Blue – Escamas Azules
  • Iolana iolas – Iolas Blue – Espantalobos
  • Laeosopis roboris – Spanish Purple Hairstreak – Moradilla del Fresno
  • Lampides boeticus – Long-tailed Blue – Canela Estriada
  • Leptotes pirithous – Lang’s Short-tailed Blue – Gris Estriada
  • Lycaena alciphron Purple-shot Copper Manto de Púrpura
  • Lycaena phlaeas – Small Copper – Manto Bicolor
  • Neozephyrus quercus – Purple Hairstreak – Nazarena
  • Plebeius argus – Silver-studded Blue – Niña Hocecillas
  • Plebeius (Agriades) glandon – Glandon Blue – Poco brillo de Sierra Nevada
  • Plebeius (pylaon) hesperica – Zephyr Blue – Niña del astrágalo
  • Plebeius idas – Idas Blue – Niña Esmaltada
  • Polyommatus albicans – Spanish Chalkhill Blue – Niña Andaluza
  • Polyommatus amandus – Amanda’s Blue – Niña estriada
  • Polyommatus bellargus – Adonis Blue – Niña Celeste
  • Polyommatus sagratrox – Turquoise Blue – Niña de la Sagra
  • Polyommatus escheri – Escher’s Blue – Fabiola
  • Polyommatus golgus – Nevada Blue – Niña de Sierra Nevada
  • Polyommatus icarus – Common Blue – Icaro (Dos Puntos)
  • Polyommatus nivescens – Mother-of-pearl Blue – Niña de nácar
  • Polyommatus semiargus – Mazarine Blue – Falsa limbada
  • Polyommatus thersites – Chapman’s Blue – Celda limpia
  • Pseudophilotes abencerragus – False Baton Blue – Falso Abencerraje
  • Pseudophilotes panoptes – Panoptes Blue – Falso Falso Abencerraje
  • Satyrium esculi – False Ilex Hairstreak – Querquera
  • Satyrium ilicis – Ilex Hairstreak – Querquera Serrana
  • Satyrium spini – Blue-spot Hairstreak – Mancha Azul
  • Tarucus theophrastus – Common Tiger Blue – Laberinto
  • Tomares ballus – Provence Hairstreak – Cardenillo
  • Zizeeria knysna – African Grass Blue – Niña Esmaltada

NYMPHALIDAE – Fritillaries are generally medium to large butterflies with bright upperwings and cryptic underwing colouring.

  • Aglais urticae – Small Tortoiseshell – Ortiguera
  • Argynnis adippe – High Brown Fritillary – Adipe
  • Argynnis aglaja – Dark Green Fritillary – Lunares de Plata
  • Argynnis niobe – Niobe Fritillary – Niobe
  • Argynnis pandora -Cardinal – Pandora
  • Argynnis paphia – Silver-washed Fritillary – Nacarada
  • Brenthis hecate – Twin-spot Fritillary – Hechicera
  • Charaxes jasius -Two-tailed Pasha – Bajá de Dos Colas
  • Euphydryas aurinia – Marsh Fritillary – Doncella de Ondas Rojas
  • Euphydryas desfontainii – Spanish Fritillary – Dientes Gualdos
  • Issoria lathonia – Queen of Spain Fritillary – Sofia
  • Limenitis reducta – Southern White Admiral – Ninfa de arroyos
  • Melitaea aetherie – Aetherie Fritillary – Doncella Gaditana
  • Melitaea athalia – Heath Fritillary – Doncella Común
  • Melitaea cinxia – Glanville Fritillary – Doncella del llánten
  • Melitaea deione – Provençal Fritillary – Doncella Ibérica
  • Melitaea didyma – Spotted Fritillary – Doncella Timida
  • Melitaea parthenoides – Meadow Fritillary – Minerva
  • Melitaea phoebe – Knapweed Fritillary – Doncella de la Centaura
  • Melitaea trivia – Lesser Spotted Fritillary – Doncella del gordolobo
  • Nymphalis polychloros – Large Tortoiseshell – Olmera
  • Polygonia album – Comma – Blanca
  • Vanessa atalanta – Red Admiral – Vanesa – Almirante vermelho
  • Vanessa cardui – Painted Lady – Cardera

PAPILIONIDAE – The Swallowtails are large and so called because of their tail streamers. The Apollo is restricted to mountain habitats.

Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii – Southern Scarce Swallowtail – Chupaleches
Papilio machaon – Swallowtail – Macaon
Parnassius apollo – Apollo – Apolo
Zerynthia rumina – Spanish Festoon – Arlequín


PIERIDAE – Whites, Yellows and Orange Tips are medium to large butterflies, many white with black markings, a few with orange tips. Several with strong yellow or off white colouring.

  • Anthocharis cardamines – Orange-tip – Aurora
  • Anthocharis belia euphenoides (Anthocharis euphenoides) – Provence Orange-tip – Puntaanaranjada
  • Aporia crataegi – Black-veined White – Blanco del Majuelo
  • Colias alfacariensis – Berger’s Clouded Yellow – Colias de Berger
  • Colias croceus – Clouded Yellow – Colias Común
  • Colotis evagore – Desert Orange-tip – Colotis del desierto
  • Euchloe belemia – Green-striped White – Blanca Verdinervada
  • Euchloe charlonia – Greenish Black-tip – Puntaparda verdosa
  • Euchloe crameri – Western Dappled White – Blanca Meridional
  • Euchloe tagis – Portuguese Dappled White – Blanca portuguesa
  • Gonepteryx cleopatra – Cleopatra – Cleopatra
  • Gonepteryx rhamni – Brimstone – Limonera
  • Leptidea sinapis – Wood White – Blanca Esbelta
  • Pieris brassicae – Large White – Blanca de la Col
  • Pieris mannii – Southern Small White – Blanca Catalana
  • Pieris napi – Green-veined White – Blanca Verdinervada
  • Pieris rapae – Small White – Blanquita de la Col
  • Pontia daplidice – Bath White – Blanquiverdosa
  • Zegris eupheme – Sooty Orange-tip – egris

SATYRIDAE – “Browns” – Heaths, Graylings, Ringlets, Marbled Whites. The majority are medium in size with cryptic shades of greys and browns bearing prominent eye spots. The veins are swollen near the base of the forewing, distinguishing them from other groups.

Arethusana boabdil (Species to be confirmed) – False Grayling (To be confirmed)
Brintesia circe – Great Banded Grayling – Rey Mozo
Chazara briseis – The Hermit – Banda Oblícua
Chazara prieuri – Southern Hermit
Coenonympha dorus – Dusky Heath – Ninfa de Esper
Coenonympha glycerion – Chestnut Heath – Ninfa de Borkhausen
Coenonympha pamphilus – Small Heath – Ninfa de Linneo
Erebia hispania (Sierra Nevada) – Spanish Brassy Ringlet
Erebia triaria – Prunner’s Ringlet
Hipparchia alcyone – Rock Grayling – Banda Acodada
Hipparchia fidia – Striped Grayling – Festón Blanco
Hipparchia semele – Grayling -Satíro Común
Hipparchia statilinus – Tree Grayling – Satíro Moreno
Hyponephele lupinus – Oriental Meadow Brown
Hyponephele lycaon – Dusky Meadow Brown – Lobito
Lasiommata maera – Large Wall Brown – Pedregosa
Lasiommata megera – Wall Brown – Saltaceras
Maniola jurtina – Meadow Brown – La Loba
Melanargia ines – Spanish Marbled White
Melanargia lachesis – Iberian Marbled White
Melanargia occitanica – Western Marbled White – Medioluto
Melanargia russiae – Esper’s Marbled White – Medioluto Montañera
Pararge aegeria – Speckled Wood – Mariposa de los Muros
Pseudochazara hippolyte – Nevada Grayling
Pyronia bathseba – Spanish Gatekeeper – Lobito Listado
Pyronia cecilia – Southern Gatekeeper – Lobito Meridional
Pyronia tithonus – Gatekeeper – Lobito Agreste
Satyrus actaea – Black Satyr – Sátiro Negro

This list of butterflies found in Andalucía (Spain) is a work in progress.If you find any mistakes or would like to help out with the list please just email me at clive@wildsideholidays.co.uk


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