Araschnia levana (The Map / Landkaartje) is a small butterfly of the Nymphalidae family (forewing about 17-21 mm). When you look at the underside of the wings it is not hard to imagine how this butterfly got it's name. The species is common throughout the lowlands of central and eastern Europe, and is expanding its range in western Europe. The Map is unusual in that its two annual broods look very different. The summer brood (this image) are blackish with white markings, looking like a miniature version of the White Admiral and lacking most of the orange of the spring brood. This seasonal dimorphism is thought to be related to the diapause (= the delay in development in response to regularly and recurring periods of adverse environmental conditions) which the hibernating pupae of the spring brood undergo.
Image: Lille (BE) - 21/07/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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