Portugal Wildlife

Guide to the Butterflies of a Wildlife Reserve in Baixo Alentejo

All Photographs were taken by the website author on the reserve unless otherwise stated.

Species Notes Photographs Photographs Photographs

Swallowtail

Papilio machaon

Cauda de andorinha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarce Swallowtail

Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii

Borboleta Zebra
 

Male, showing greyish-white upperside ground colour (female shows faint yellow flush).

 

 

 

Spanish Festoon

Zerynthia rumina

Borboleta carnaval

 

 

On Brassica sp. flower.

 

 

 

 

Large White

Pieris brassicae

Borboleta das couves

 

Large White feeding on Rosemary.

Large White feeding on Yellow Fleabane.

Small White

Pieris rapae

Borboleta pequena das couves

 

Small White feeding on Sweet Scabious.

 

 

 

 

Small White feeding on Limestone Lettuce.

 

Bath White

Pontia daplidice

Borboleta branca e verde

 

Bath White feeding on Yellow Fleabane.

 

 

Western Dappled White

Euchloe crameri

Esverdeada dos nabais

 

 

 

Feeding on Wild Radish.

Feeding on flower of a Brassica species.

Green Striped White

Euchloe belemia

Branca de riscas verdes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clouded Yellow

Colias crocea

Maravilha

 

Clouded Yellow feeding on Common Heliotrope.

Male in flight - showing some of upper wing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

False Ilex Hairstreak

Satyrium esculi

Esculi

 

 

 

Green Hairstreak

Callophrys rubi

Rubi

 

Green Hairstreak showing upper wing colours - with Honey Bee in foreground.

 

 

Green Hairstreak with Honey Bee in foreground.

Small Copper

Lycaena phlaeas

Acobreada

 

Male - with very bright upper wings.

Female - with much darker upper wings.

 

 

Small Copper feeding on Dusky Dogfennel flower.

 

 

Male showing Hindwing 'Tail' nicely - this feature is less prominent in females.

Food plants of the Small Copper caterpillars: Rumex acetosa and R. acetosella

 

 

Small Copper (right) with two Southern Brown Argus butterflies (left)

 

 

 

Longtailed Blue

Lampides boeticus

Azulinha

 

Interestingly it is thought that 'tailed' butterflies wiggle their 'tails' to focus a predatory bird's attack site to the 'tail' rather than any vital parts. Thus allowing the butterfly to escape. As a result a lot of these butterflies have damage wings where their 'tails' used to be.

 

 

 

Lang's Shorttailed Blue

Leptotes pirithous

Cinzentinha

 

 

 

European Mantis hunting a Lang's Short-tailed Blue.

Courtship behaviour.

Courtship behaviour.

 

 

Courtship behaviour.

Female.

Male.

 

 

Male.

 

Southern Brown Argus

Aricia cramera

Borboleta

 

Male.

Male.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Blue           

Polyommatus icarus

Azul comum
 

Male.

Male.

Male.

 

 

Male feeding on nectar from Common Heliotrope flowers.

Male.

 

 

Male.

Male.

Two males.

 

 

Male.

Two males.

Male.

Red Admiral

Vanessa atalanta

Almirante vermelho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painted Lady

Vanessa cardui

Bela Dama

 

Painted Lady feeding on Corn Marigold.

Thistles, such as this Purple Milk Thistle, are important nectar sources as well as larval host plants for Painted Lady butterflies.

 

 

A Painted Lady basking in the January sunshine.

 

 

Spanish Marbled White

Melanargia ines

Melanargia mediterrânica

 

Male Spanish Marbled White.

 

 

Male.

 

 

 

Tree Grayling

Neohipparchia statilinus

Preta comum

 

 

 

 

Meadow Brown

Maniola jurtina hispulla

Loba

 

Meadow Brown feeding on Sweet Scabious.

Upperwings of Male Meadow Brown.

 

 

Female Meadow Brown showing small part of Upperwing which is much brighter in colour than that of males.

Female Meadow Brown.

Female.

 

 

Male.

 

Male.

Southern Gatekeeper

Pyronia cecilia

Guarda portões menor

 

Male.

Female.

Female.

 

 

Male Southern Gatekeeper. The conspicuous patch of dark markings on the Upperwing are known as a sex brand which is a grouping of androconia. Androconia are specialized wing scales of male butterflies that possess gland cells containing chemicals that attract female butterflies. In this species the sex brand is broken by distinctive orange veins.

Male.

 

 

Male.

Female.

Female.

 

 

Female.

Female.

 

 

Female.

Female.

Male with scales well worn.

Small Heath

Coenonympha pamphilus

Nêspera
 

   

 

Red Underwing Skipper

Spialia sertorius

Axadrezada comum

 

Red Underwing Skipper feeding on Sweet Scabious.

 

Sage Skipper

Muschampia proto

Axadrezada mediterrânica

 

 

 

 

False Mallow Skipper

Carcharodus tripolinus

Axadrezada do Sul

 

 

 

 

The recently described False Mallow Skipper is virtually identical to the Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae). This species may also occur in this part of Portugal. So it could be that this butterfly is a Mallow Skipper and not a False Mallow Skipper. But its location does support the identification of False Mallow Skipper.

 

Small Skipper

Thymelicus sylvestris

Hesperídeo laranja antenas vermelhas
 

Small Skipper feeding on European Umbrella Milkwort.

 

Small Skipper feeding on Sweet Scabious.

 

 

The orange colouration on the antennae is characteristic.

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Species List :

English Name Scientific Name Portuguese Name Examples of Food Plants of Caterpillars (Not all yet recorded on the reserve)
         
1 Swallowtail Papilio machaon Cauda de andorinha Umbellifers (Apiaceae) - especially Fennel
2 Scarce Swallowtail Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii Borboleta Zebra Almond (Prunus dulcis) and Pears (Pyrus spp.)
3 Spanish Festoon Zerynthia rumina Borboleta carnaval Aristolochias such as Andalusian Dutchman´s Pipe (Aristolochia baetica)
4 Large White Pieris brassicae Borboleta das couves Brassicas
5 Small White Pieris rapae Borboleta pequena das couves Brassicas, Weld (Reseda luteola)
6 Bath White Pontia daplidice Borboleta branca e verde Crucifers, Weld (Reseda luteola)
7 Western Dappled White Euchloe crameri Esverdeada dos nabais Brassicas
8 Green Striped White Euchloe belemia Branca de riscas verdes Crucifers, (Brassica & Diplotaxis spp.)
9 Clouded Yellow Colias crocea Maravilha Various (Fabaceae/Leguminosae) such as Trefoils (Lotus spp.)
10 False Ilex Hairstreak Satyrium esculi Esculi Oaks (Quercus sp.) including Sweet Oak (Quercus rotundifolia) our dominant tree species
11 Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi Rubi Various Leguminosae such as species of Broom (Cytisus & Genista)
12 Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas Acobreada Sheep's Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) and other (Rumex spp.)
13 Longtailed Blue Lampides boeticus Azulinha Pea (Lathrys) and Broom (Cytisus)
14 Lang's Shorttailed Blue Leptotes pirithous Cinzentinha Fabaceae or Pea Family
15 Southern Brown Argus Aricia cramera Borboleta Cranesbills (Geranium spp.) and Storksbills (Erodium spp.)
16 Common Blue Polyommatus icarus Azul comum Various (Fabaceae/Leguminosae) such as (Ononis, Trifolium, Lotus)
17 Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta Almirante vermelho Various Nettles (Urticaceae) - (Urtica & Parietaria spp.)
18 Painted Lady Vanessa cardui Bela Dama Various Thistles and Mallows (Asteraceae & Malvaceae) (e.g. Malva spp.)
19 Spanish Marbled White Melanargia ines Melanargia mediterrânica Various Grasses such as (Brachypodium spp.)
20 Tree Grayling Neohipparchia statilinus Preta comum Various Grasses such as (Bromus erectus)
21 Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina Loba Various Grasses including Carpet Bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera)
22 Southern Gatekeeper Pyronia cecilia Guarda portões menor Grasses, possibly including Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa)
23 Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus Nêspera Grasses including Matgrass (Nardus stricta)
24 Red Underwing Skipper Spialia sertorius Axadrezada comum Various plants including Sanguisorba, Rubus and Potentilla.
25 Sage Skipper Muschampia proto Axadrezada mediterrânica Various species of Mallow - Malva sp
26 False Mallow Skipper Carcharodus tripolinus Axadrezada do Sul Various species of Mallow - e.g. Malva sylvestris
27 Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris Hesperídeo laranja antenas vermelhas Various Grasses such as (Holcus spp.)

 

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