Tag Archives: Butterflies in Spain

Black-veined White – Aporia crataegi – Blanca del Majuelo

  • Family: Pieridae
  • Scientific name: Aporia crataegi
  • English common name: Black-veined White
  • Spanish common name: Blanca del Majuelo
  • Portuguese common name: Borboleta do pilriteiro

The Black-veined White – Aporia crataegi – Blanca del Majuelo is a fairly large butterfly, easily recognised by the black veining on a white background, with no spots. The female has a slightly softer brown colour to the veins. Groups can be found feeding on flowers near to their caterpillar food plants of hawthorns and also around orchards of Prunus species.

Aporia crataegi- Blanco del Majuelo-Black-veined White
Aporia crataegi- Blanco del Majuelo-Black-veined White is easily recognised by the black veining on a white background

The caterpillars of this species can grow up to 4cm long, they are black with orange spots and a white horizontal line above the legs, covered with many white hairs. The caterpillars of this species survive over winter within the protection of woven nests.

  • Wing size: 56-68mm
  • Altitude: 500-2000m
  • Flight time: April-July
  • Over-wintering: Young caterpillars in a communal woven nest
  • Caterpillar food plant: Crataegus, Prunus, Malus, Pyrus, Sorbus
  • Distribution: Widespread through most of Europe

The chrysalis of the Black-veined White – Aporia crataegi – Blanca del Majuelo is very easy to identify for this species as seen in the image below.

Aporia crataegi- Blanco del Majuelo-Black-veined White - Chrysalis
Aporia crataegi- Blanco del Majuelo-Black-veined White – Chrysalis

Similar species: Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne) but this species has two large black spots on the forewing.

Above images from the Sierra de Grazalema, Andalusia



The Grazalema Guide

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https://grazalemaguide.com/

Cardinal – Argynnis pandora – Pandora

  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Scientific name: Argynnis pandora (Pandoriana pandora )
  • English common name: Cardinal
  • Spanish common name: Pandora
  • Portuguese common name: Pandora
The Cardinal - Argynnis pandora - Pandora

The Cardinal – Argynnis pandora – Pandora is a large butterfly with soft orange upperwings marked with black spots/ lines and with a green flush. The forewing on the under side are smudged green at the tip with the rest a strong salmon and black pattern, the hind wing is pale green with silver stripes.

This butterfly is often found in flower rich meadows next to woodlands.

The Cardinal - Argynnis pandora - Pandora

The caterpillars of this species are up to 4cm with a basic black colour to the body bearing tiny orange spots, they are covered in rows of black/brown spiny looking hairs.

  • Wing size: 64-80mm
  • Altitude: 500-1500m
  • Flight time: May-July also August-early October in warmer zones
  • Over-wintering: Caterpillar
  • Caterpillar food plant: Viola
  • Distribution: Southern Europe, Mediterranean.
The Cardinal - Argynnis pandora - Pandora

Similar species: Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia), which lacks the green flush on the upper wings.

Photos by Sue Eatock. https://grazalemaguide.com/


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Southern Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii) Chupaleches

The Southern Scarce Swallowtail is a large butterfly that can look either white or pale yellow with prominent vertical black stripes and long tail streamers, from where it gained the common name. When feeding on a flower the blue crescents and red markings on the hindwings are visible. The under wing pattern is a little paler.

Once classed as Iphiclides podalirius podalirius (Central and Southern Europe), The Southern Scarce swallowtail – Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii (North Africa, Iberia and southwest France) is now recognised as a subspecies due to their geographic location and differences in size and coloration.

The caterpillars can be up to 4.5cm long. They are green with fine yellow lines and orange spots. The shape is deeper in the first third and tapers off sharply. They have a glandular defense system against predation. On their necks is hidden a fork of brightly coloured retractable flesh, when raised this emits a foul smell to deter predators.

  • Family: Papilionidae
  • Scientific name: Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii
  • English common name: Southern Scarce swallowtail
  • Spanish common name: Chupaleches
Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) Chupaleches egg
Southern Scarce swallowtail – Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii – Chupaleches The tiny egg is laid on the underside of prunus species leaves
  • Wing size: 64-90mm
  • Altitude: Sea level to 1600m
  • Flight time: March-October in two to three broods depending on the seasons
  • Over-wintering: Chrysalis
  • Caterpillar food plant: Prunus species e.g. Blackthorn, Sloe, Almond, Cherry and Hawthorn.
  • Distribution: Most parts of Europe eastwards to India and China.
Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) Chupaleches caterpillar
Southern Scarce swallowtail – Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii – Chupaleches caterpillar
Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) Chupaleches chrysalis
Southern Scarce swallowtail – Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii – Chupaleches chrysalis
Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) Chupaleches
Southern Scarce swallowtail – Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii – Chupaleches

Similar species: Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), which has a stronger yellow base colour and has more solid black on “shoulders” and body.


The Grazalema Guide

The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.

The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, The town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.

https://grazalemaguide.com/

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) Macaon

The swallowtail is a large and brightly coloured butterfly which is easily recognised. The main colour on upper and under wings is yellow with bands and veins of black. On closer inspection there are blue markings and a pair of red spots on the hindwing. The tail streamers are where it gained the common name, although occasionally one or both may have broken off.

Papilio machaon-Macaon-Swallowtail egg
Papilio machaon-Macaon-Swallowtail egg
Papilio machaon-Macaon-Swallowtail caterpillar
Papilio machaon-Macaon-Swallowtail caterpillar

The caterpillars of this species can be up to 5cm long. They have a glandular defense system against predation. On their necks is hidden a fork of brightly coloured retractable flesh, when raised this emits a foul smell to deter predators.

Papilio machaon-Macaon-Swallowtail1
Papilio machaon-Macaon-Swallowtail. These majestic insects often stop to feed on garden flowers allowing for a closer view.
  • Family: Papilionidae
  • Scientific name: Papilio machaon
  • English common name: Swallowtail
  • Spanish common name: Macaon
  • Portuguese common name: Makaon
  • Wing size: 64-100mm
  • Altitude: sea level to 3000m
  • Flight time: February-October in two to three broods
  • Over-wintering: Chrysalis
  • Caterpillar food plant: Many Umbellifers: Wild carrot, Fennel and Rue families.
  • Distribution: Widespread over much of Europe and Asia. North Africa and North America.

Similar species: Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) which has a paler cream base colour and the black markings are reminiscent of zebra stripes.


The Grazalema Guide

The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.

The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, The town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.

https://grazalemaguide.com/