Camberwell Beauty (Nymphalis antiopa)
Species

Taken at Papaz Tcher, Bulgaria, on June 24th 2014.
(1/500th sec at f13. Approx 1.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Underside. Taken at Papaz Tcher, Bulgaria, on June 24th 2014.
(1/200th sec at f13. Approx 1.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 76 - 88mm

This large purplish-black butterfly with its blue spots and cream-edged wings is unmistakeable. The sexes are similar.

It is widespread and common throughout Europe, but it isn't found in most of Spain, the British Isles or the Mediterranean islands.

Typical habitats are woodland edges and clearings, forest roads and glades, scrub, watersides, sand dunes, parks and gardens, and river valleys.

Adults emerge from hibernation in spring, and give rise to another generation which appears in June/July in the south, and August/September in the north.

Larvae feed mostly on willows (Salix spp.), but will also use Elms, Birch and Poplars.

Adults are fond of feeding on sap. They also like fallen and rotten fruit, and dung.

There are occasional influxes into the British Isles, usually from northern Europe, but most butterflies fail to survive hibernation.

Sightings

24-Jun-2014 : Papaz Tchair, Bulgaria