Map Araschinia levana

Scientific Name: Araschinia levana (Nymphalidae Nymphalinae).

English Name: Map (Brush-footed butterflies family, Tortoiseshells and Fritillaries sub-family).

French Name: La Carte géographique (='the cartographic map').

5 Key Characters:
  • underwings are purplish brown with a network of white tracery (resembling a map).
  • spring form is orange with strong black markings on upper side.
  • summer form is black with a central white band and a thin irregular dark red band near the wing edges on the upper side.
  • small to medium sized butterfly (wingspan 40 mm).
Lookalikes: Spring form might be mistaken for the Comma Polygonia c-album, but the Map doesn't have the irregular wing edges. Summer form might be mistaken for the Southern White Admiral Limenitis reducta, which is larger, blue-black and lacking the red line on top and coppery red and pure white underneath.

Habitat: Woodland edges, river and ditch banks with tall lush vegetation, open woodland, often damp. Extensive sunny damp patches of nettles. Sometimes hot dry slopes.

Flight Period: March-April-May-June-July-August-September.

Caterpillars: Black with tufts of orange hairs and tiny white dots. Food plant Nettle Urtica dioica, May - June and August - September. Overwinters as a chrysalis.

Status: Abundant.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Resting on bramble.
Summer form.
Spring form.
Spring form on caterpillar food plant Nettle Urtica dioica.

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