Saturday, 7 July 2007

Purple Emperor (Apatura iris)

Adult female Purple Emperor (subspecies A. i . iris) at Brigstock, Northants - July 2011

Featured Subspecies: Apatura iris iris
Length: ?
Wingspan: 70-90mm
UK Status: Near Threatened IUCN Red List: Least Concern

A huge butterfly, the purple emporer is surely one of the most impressive of all insectsfound in the UK. The name refers to the dramatic upperside of its wings. It is mainly a species found in treetops, but it descends on warm days. Unlike many butterflies, it does not feed upon nectar, but rather on honeydew, carrion, and as in the case of this particular specifmen, dung.  The population at Brigstock is particularly famous for being more visibl than usual and draws butterfly watchers annually.

Related Species:
Family: Nymphalidae 
Genus: Apatura
SUBSPECIES: A. i. iris, A. i. bieti, A. i. xanthina, A. i. kansuensis, A. i. amurensis

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM A scarce and local resident
 - Seen in Brigstock and numerous other sites 

Further Notes: RSPB, WikipediaBirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

1 comment:

  1. My God,what a stunner.
    Excellent image.