Map Butterfly (Araschnia levana, f. prorsa)

May 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Map butterfly is unusual because it has two different forms. Depending on which time of year it is found, it looks different. This is called seasonal dimorphism. Levana, the spring generation, is orange with black spots and also smaller than the summer form prorsa. Prorsa has a black upperside with white markings, looking like a smaller version of the White Admiral. Occasionally a third brood appears in autumn, this one is something of a combination of the orange and black variants.

The underside of the wings shows a map-like pattern; with white, and cream-coloured, lines, markings and cross-lines on a dark red-brown underside; which is the reason for the name of this butterfly.

It is found in woodland clearings, flying close to the ground.

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