Thursday, January 12, 2006

Butterflies 2005

The swallowtail is among the most spectacular and largest of our butterflies. The wings of the female can reach more than 9 cm in size! It is in the tropics that one most frequently sees the Papilioninae sub-family. Mostly in springtime, the butterflies search for higher ground to carry out their famous «hilltopping», a type of nuptial flight that allows them to find a partner. The flamed variety is an even rarer species that populates northern Europe.

The silver-washed fritillary is a relatively common butterfly in Luxembourg. It is encountered in summer on sunny forest paths where it enjoys gypsywort. The males are a luminous orange colour while the females are darker with greenish colouration. The females eventually become entirely green. This variety is called the »valesina» variety.

The chalk-hill blue is among the varieties most frequently encountered. They are found in almost every country area, primarily on the dry limestone pastures. The males are known by their light whitish blue colouration while the females are brown with orange points on the lower edge of their back wings. In Luxembourg, it is the most recognisable argus butterfly.

Courtesy: Luxembourg Post

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