Butterfly-watching is fun! And the nicest thing is that you can come across butterflies nearly everywhere, as long as it is reasonably warm. In gardens and parks, along road verges, in woods, or on moors, and of course in all kinds of nature reserves or unspoiled countryside.
There are common butterflies and rare ones. Some species you will seldomly see more than one or two at a time, while others can be encountered in droves. The Large White (Pieris brassicae) and the Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) can be found all over Europe. However, for a Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) and the Lorquin’s Blue (Cupido lorquinii) you will have to go to the southernmost part of Spain. For the Arctic Woodland Ringlet (Erebia polaris) and Lapland Fritillary (Euphydryas iduna) start your search in the Arctic regions of Scandinavia. The footage is filmed by multiple IP Camera's
This project helps you explore the great diversity in butterflies of Europe, excluding Russia and Turkey.
In our usage of scientific names, we follow the list published by Karsholt and Razowski, 1996. English names are not given for all species, but where these exist, they are in accordance with Tolman and Lewington, 1997: Collins Field Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Europe, and Asher et al., 2001: the Millennium Atlas of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland.
For the information on the habitats and life cycle of butterflies, we have consulted a variety of books on these subjects. Additional data on the ringlets (Erebia spp.) was supplied by Frans Cupedo. Concerning species distribution, recent publications offering detailed maps and up-to-date data have been consulted extensively.
For a few rare species, the scientific literature has provided an outcome. For those who wish more specific details, useful titles can be found in the literature list.
Good illustrations are a must. Richard Lewington has provided a solid basis by supplying his excellent drawings of each species. These drawings are complemented by pictures of butterflies in the wild and of their habitats. In some cases, film fragments have been added. Pictures of some species are missing, but we hope to fill these in later on. If you are able to fill any gaps, please contact us.
This website offers a number of search options. For instance, from the Index you can go directly to an individual species, and find specified tabs with information on the butterfly’s appearance, life cycle, behaviour, habitat, flight period, distribution, conservation status, trends and occurrence per country. Also, you can let IdentifyIt create a list of butterfly species according to certain criteria, such as a geographic area, flight period, and specific main habitats. In combination with MapIt, you can obtain a list of butterflies that you can, for example, expect to encounter during August in the woods of the Pyrenees! Then, using this list, you can return to the individual species for more detailed information. Comparison with look-alikes is possible.
What could be nicer than sitting in the sun, with the scent of flowers and grass and the murmer of a babbling brook, enjoying the sight of butterflies flying around you?
Come and enjoy them with us!
Inge van Halder
Chris van Swaay