Freyer's Purple Emperor (Apatura metis)
Species

Male. Taken at Meste River fishponds, Bulgaria, on June 24th 2014.
(1/500th sec at f11. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male. Taken at Meste River fishponds, Bulgaria, on June 24th 2014.
(1/1000th sec at f11. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 59 - 62mm

Similar to the Lesser Purple Emperor, but both sexes have orange-brown uppersides. The male shows a slight purple iridescence on its forewings.

Freyer's Purple Emperor is restricted to major river systems in Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, N Serbia, Bulgaria, N Greece and European Turkey.

It prefers wooded habitats along rivers and streams below 650m.

There are two generations per year, in May/June and July/August. The larva is the over-wintering stage.

The main larval foodplant is White Willow (Salix alba).

Males exhibit strongly territorial behaviour.

Sightings

24-Jun-2014 : Mesta River fishponds, Bulgaria
18-Jun-2014 : nr Mirkovo, Bulgaria