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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

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Map (Araschnia levana)

Taxonomy
Kingdom:Phylum:Class:Order:Family:Genus:Species:
AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaLepidopteraNymphalidaeAraschniaA. levana

Measuring approximately 4 centimeters the Map Butterfly is one of the smaller members of the Nymphalidae family. It is named after the underside of the wing, which gives the impression of a map.
Map Butterflies occur in two generations that differ significantly: spring or 'levana' and summer or 'prorsa'. The spring brood, depicted in the second photo here, is primarily orange and can be easily confused with a small fritillary. The summer brood shows dark almost black patterns. The generations in between have their own colours and patterns which is a mixture of those of the spring and those of the summer generation.



Araschnia levana is quite common in Central and Eastern Europe, and is becoming more and more common in Western Europe.
It lays eggs in strings on the underside of the nettle plants. The eggs are green. The larvae feed on the leaves of nettles.
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