Small Blue (Cupido minimus)

Butterflies Of Italy: 40 Beautiful Species, Fun Facts & Tips

Italy is a beautiful country with many kinds of landscapes. There are mountains, beaches, and forests. Because of these different places, many kinds of butterflies live in Italy. In this article, we will talk about 40 of the most beautiful butterflies you can find in Italy.

Why Butterflies Love Italy?

Italy’s different landscapes are like different homes for butterflies. The warm sun, lovely flowers, and big green areas give butterflies everything they need. Because of this, Italy is a special place for butterflies.

9 beautiful butterflies of italy images

40 Remarkable Butterfly Species in Italy

1. Southern Swallowtail (Papilio alexanor)

Southern Swallowtail Butterfly

Southern Swallowtail (Papilio alexanor)
  • Habitat: Prefers warm, dry, and sunny meadows, often found fluttering around Italy’s southern regions.
  • Appearance: Distinguished by its pale yellow wings highlighted by dark brown and blue bands, it truly epitomizes nature’s artwork.
  • Size: A relatively large butterfly, it boasts a wingspan of about 3.1-3.5 inches (8-9 cm).
  • Diet: Often seen hovering over flowers such as marjoram, lavender, and thistles, sipping their nectar.
  • Reproduction: They lay their eggs singularly on various species of plants in the Rutaceae family.
  • Lifespan: Adult Southern Swallowtails can live from 2 to 5 weeks, making the most of Italy’s sunny days.
  • Host Plants: Primarily uses plants like common rue as a haven for its caterpillars.

2. Corsican Swallowtail (Papilio hospiton)

Corsican Swallowtail Butterfly

Corsican Swallowtail (Papilio hospiton)
  • Habitat: This butterfly prefers the maquis and open woodland of Corsica and Sardinia.
  • Appearance: A visual delight with its contrasting dark and light patterns. The upper side is black with broad yellow bands, and the hindwings have a blue sheen.
  • Size: They have a wingspan ranging between 2.8-3.3 inches (7-8.5 cm).
  • Diet: The adult butterflies are mostly seen enjoying the nectar of thyme flowers.
  • Reproduction: Post mating, females lay their pale eggs on the leaves of their favored host plants.
  • Lifespan: Typically, they grace the Italian skies for 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Host Plants: Their caterpillars prefer to feast on the plants from the Genus Ferula.

3. Chapman’s Blue (Polyommatus thersites)

Chapman’s Blue Butterfly

Chapman's Blue (Polyommatus thersites)
  • Habitat: Loves the grassy meadows and woodland clearings spread across Italy.
  • Appearance: Males are radiant blue with a fine black border, while females showcase a brown upper side with a hint of blue near the body.
  • Size: A petite beauty with a wingspan of about 1-1.2 inches (2.5-3 cm).
  • Diet: Prefers sipping on nectar from flowers like oregano and wild marjoram.
  • Reproduction: After a courtship dance, females lay their eggs on the host plant’s underside.
  • Lifespan: The butterfly, through all its stages, sees the seasons change over nearly a year.
  • Host Plants: Their caterpillars find solace on plants like horseshoe vetch.

4. Italian Marbled White (Melanargia arge)

Italian Marbled White Butterfly

Italian Marbled White (Melanargia arge)
  • Habitat: Fond of sun-drenched meadows and clearings throughout Italy.
  • Appearance: They show off white wings with unique grayish patterns, making them easy to spot.
  • Size: They enjoy a modest wingspan of about 1.6-1.8 inches (4-4.5 cm).
  • Diet: You’ll often find them drinking nectar from daisies and other meadow flowers.
  • Reproduction: After mating, females drop their eggs mid-flight, letting them land on grass where the caterpillars will feed.
  • Lifespan: From egg to butterfly, they live up to a year, with adults flying around for about a month.
  • Host Plants: Young caterpillars munch on grasses like fescue and meadow grass.

5. Italian Skipper (Gegenes nostrodamus)

Italian Skipper Butterfly

Italian Skipper (Gegenes nostrodamus)
  • Habitat: Prefers warm grassy places and is common in southern Italy.
  • Appearance: They’re small, with a mix of orange and brown shades on their wings.
  • Size: Their wingspan is about 1-1.2 inches (2.5-3 cm).
  • Diet: These tiny wonders love nectar from flowers like thistles and marjoram.
  • Reproduction: Eggs are laid on grass blades where the caterpillars will later feed.
  • Lifespan: Most of their life is spent as a caterpillar, with only a few weeks as a flying adult.
  • Host Plants: They grow on various grasses, enjoying a simple diet.

6. Italian Ringlet (Erebia cassioides)

Italian Ringlet Butterfly

Italian Ringlet (Erebia cassioides)
  • Habitat: They love the cooler climate of the Italian Alps.
  • Appearance: Dark brown wings with distinct eye-like patterns on the underside.
  • Size: A wingspan of about 1.5-1.8 inches (3.8-4.5 cm).
  • Diet: They have a soft spot for bluebell nectar.
  • Reproduction: After pairing up, females lay eggs on wild grasses.
  • Lifespan: Their entire journey from egg to adult spans roughly a year.
  • Host Plants: As caterpillars, they feed on mountain grasses.

7. Green-veined White (Pieris napi)

Green-veined White Butterfly

Green-veined White (Pieris napi)
  • Habitat: Often spotted in gardens, meadows, and woodlands all over Italy.
  • Appearance: White wings with green veins on the underside – a simple yet striking design.
  • Size: They spread their wings to about 1.8-2.2 inches (4.5-5.5 cm).
  • Diet: Favorites include nectar from clover and dandelion flowers.
  • Reproduction: They lay their tiny eggs on the undersides of leaves.
  • Lifespan: From start to end, their life cycle takes up to a year.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars enjoy feasting on plants like mustard and cress.

8. Southern White Admiral (Limenitis reducta)

Southern White Admiral Butterfly

Southern White Admiral (Limenitis reducta)
  • Habitat: They’re found in sunny woodland areas, especially in southern Italy.
  • Appearance: Dark brown wings adorned with striking white bands.
  • Size: A decent wingspan ranging between 2.2-2.6 inches (5.5-6.5 cm).
  • Diet: They sip nectar from flowers and also love tree sap.
  • Reproduction: After mating, females place their eggs on the leaves of host plants.
  • Lifespan: They live for about a year, enjoying the warm Italian sun.
  • Host Plants: Honeysuckle is a top choice for their caterpillars.

9. Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra)

Cleopatra Butterfly

Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra)
  • Habitat: Prefers scrubby areas, open woodlands, and olive groves.
  • Appearance: Males are bright lemon-yellow, while females are paler with a hint of green.
  • Size: Their wings stretch to about 2.4-2.8 inches (6-7 cm).
  • Diet: They’re often seen enjoying nectar from a variety of flowers.
  • Reproduction: The butterfly lays its eggs on host plants, ensuring a food source for its caterpillars.
  • Lifespan: Their entire life, from egg to graceful flyer, lasts around a year.
  • Host Plants: Their caterpillars munch on buckthorn leaves.

10. Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia)

Queen of Spain Fritillary Butterfly

Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia)
  • Habitat: Loves sunny spots like grasslands and open woods.
  • Appearance: Bright orange wings decorated with countless black spots.
  • Size: A wingspan of roughly 1.6-2 inches (4-5 cm).
  • Diet: Feeds on flower nectar, especially thistles.
  • Reproduction: After pairing, females drop their eggs close to violets – the caterpillar’s food.
  • Lifespan: From egg to butterfly, it’s a journey of almost a year.
  • Host Plants: The caterpillars are violet lovers, consuming many varieties.

While butterflies in Italy are a marvel, have you ever been fascinated by the world of moths? Explore these colorful and pretty moths that can be just as stunning.

11. Chalk Hill Blue (Polyommatus coridon)

Chalk Hill Blue Butterfly

Chalk Hill Blue (Polyommatus coridon)
  • Habitat: Enjoys dry, chalky areas. You’ll see them dancing over Italian hills and grasslands.
  • Appearance: Males boast a lovely pale blue, while females lean towards brown with blue margins.
  • Size: With wings spreading about 1.2-1.4 inches (3-3.5 cm), they’re a delicate sight.
  • Diet: These beauties sip nectar from flowers like thistles and marjoram.
  • Reproduction: Post-mating, females lay eggs on specific grasses.
  • Lifespan: Typically, they flutter around for a year, spanning all their life stages.
  • Host Plants: Horseshoe vetch is a favorite for their young caterpillars.

12. Adonis Blue (Polyommatus bellargus)

Adonis Blue Butterfly

Adonis Blue (Polyommatus bellargus)
  • Habitat: Prefers chalky grasslands. They’re common in warmer parts of Italy.
  • Appearance: Males shine in vibrant blue, while females wear a more muted brown.
  • Size: Their wings span between 1.2-1.6 inches (3-4 cm).
  • Diet: Enjoys nectar from a variety of flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females place their eggs on their preferred host plants.
  • Lifespan: Their journey from egg to full-grown butterfly takes about a year.
  • Host Plants: Horseshoe vetch keeps their caterpillars happy and well-fed.

13. Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius)

Two-tailed Pasha Butterfly

Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius)
  • Habitat: Loves sunny, open woodlands and thickets.
  • Appearance: Brown with intricate orange bands and white spots. Their two ‘tails’ make them unique.
  • Size: They’re among the larger ones with a wingspan of 2.8-3.2 inches (7-8 cm).
  • Diet: They’re diverse eaters, enjoying tree sap, ripe fruit, and flower nectar.
  • Reproduction: Post-mating, females lay eggs on leaves of the strawberry tree.
  • Lifespan: Living up to a year, they grace the Italian landscapes beautifully.
  • Host Plants: The strawberry tree is their primary caterpillar munch spot.

14. Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)

Speckled Wood Butterfly

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
  • Habitat: Found in dappled shade of woods, forest edges, and even gardens.
  • Appearance: Brown wings with creamy spots make them stand out in their woodland homes.
  • Size: A modest wingspan of 1.6-2 inches (4-5 cm).
  • Diet: They savor honeydew and flower nectar.
  • Reproduction: Eggs are laid on grass blades, promising food for the emerging caterpillars.
  • Lifespan: Throughout their stages, they typically live for a year.
  • Host Plants: Various grasses provide sustenance for the growing caterpillars.

15. Southern Festoon (Zerynthia polyxena)

Southern Festoon Butterfly

Southern Festoon (Zerynthia polyxena)
  • Habitat: The Southern Festoon typically inhabits warm and sunny clearings, particularly those with flowering plants.
  • Appearance: This butterfly is recognized by its striking pattern of red, black, and yellow on its wings.
  • Size: It has a wingspan of about 6.4–8.0 cm, making it a relatively medium to large butterfly.
  • Diet: The adults primarily feed on flowers, favoring those that are umbelliferous.
  • Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on the host plants, mainly Aristolochia species.
  • Lifespan: The Southern Festoon generally has a lifespan of about two to three weeks in their adult stage.
  • Host Plants: The larvae predominantly feed on Birthwort (Aristolochia) plants.

16. Purple Emperor (Apatura iris)

Purple Emperor Butterfly

Purple Emperor (Apatura iris)
  • Habitat: Loves the canopies of oak forests but descends for food and sun.
  • Appearance: Males boast a striking purple sheen, while females are brown with white markings.
  • Size: A majestic wingspan of 2.8-3.2 inches (7-8 cm).
  • Diet: While they enjoy nectar, they also feed on tree sap and overripe fruit.
  • Reproduction: Females lay their eggs high up on willow trees.
  • Lifespan: Navigating through life’s stages, they live roughly a year.
  • Host Plants: Willows are the chosen munch spots for their caterpillars.

17. Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)

Marbled White Butterfly

Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)
  • Habitat: Found fluttering in meadows, grasslands, and clearings throughout Italy.
  • Appearance: Its black and white marbled pattern is unmistakable.
  • Size: Wings spread between 1.8-2.2 inches (4.5-5.5 cm).
  • Diet: They love sipping nectar from a variety of wildflowers.
  • Reproduction: After a dance of courtship, eggs are laid on grass stems.
  • Lifespan: Their journey from egg to elegant butterfly spans about a year.
  • Host Plants: Different grass species sustain their hungry caterpillars.

18. Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina)

Duke of Burgundy Butterfly

Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina)
  • Habitat: Prefers sunny clearings in woodlands and chalky grasslands.
  • Appearance: Orange-brown with black spots and bands, they’re a sight to behold.
  • Size: A small wingspan of just 1-1.2 inches (2.5-3 cm).
  • Diet: Enjoys nectar from flowers such as cowslips and primroses.
  • Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on the underside of host plant leaves.
  • Lifespan: Living in its various forms, it exists for about a year.
  • Host Plants: Cowslip and primrose are favorites for their caterpillars.


Alright, let’s move forward with more butterfly profiles.

19. Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros)

Large Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros)
  • Habitat: Loves sunlit forest clearings, gardens, and orchards.
  • Appearance: Their warm orange wings with black markings resemble a tortoiseshell pattern.
  • Size: With wings stretching 2.4-2.8 inches (6-7 cm), they make quite the impression.
  • Diet: They’re fans of tree sap, but they also feed on flower nectar.
  • Reproduction: Eggs are laid in clusters on the host plant’s twigs.
  • Lifespan: They typically grace the Italian skies for a year across all life stages.
  • Host Plants: Elm trees are the primary feeding grounds for their caterpillars.

20. Small Blue (Cupido minimus)

Small Blue Butterfly

Small Blue (Cupido minimus)
  • Habitat: Often seen in chalky grasslands and sunny clearings.
  • Appearance: As the name suggests, they’re a tiny, delicate blue.
  • Size: Their dainty wings span just about 0.8-1 inch (2-2.5 cm).
  • Diet: Flower nectar from plants like kidney vetch is their go-to.
  • Reproduction: After mating, females lay eggs on flower buds of the host plant.
  • Lifespan: From a tiny egg to a fluttering butterfly, their life spans roughly a year.
  • Host Plants: Kidney vetch is the primary food source for their caterpillars.

21. Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon)

Lulworth Skipper Butterfly

Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon)
  • Habitat: Favors coastal grasslands, especially in warmer Italian regions.
  • Appearance: A rich brown with tiny orange patches on the upper wings.
  • Size: Their wings measure approximately 1-1.2 inches (2.5-3 cm) across.
  • Diet: They’re keen on nectar from plants like thistles and trefoils.
  • Reproduction: Eggs are neatly laid on the host plant’s grass blades.
  • Lifespan: They live through their stages for about a year.
  • Host Plants: Various grass species serve as the primary diet for their caterpillars.

22. Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia)

Silver-washed Fritillary Butterfly

Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia)
  • Habitat: Fond of open woodlands and forest edges that catch the sun.
  • Appearance: Gorgeous orange wings with black spots, and a silver underbelly streaked with green.
  • Size: Impressive wings spreading between 2.4-3 inches (6-7.5 cm).
  • Diet: Enjoys nectar from flowers, especially brambles and thistles.
  • Reproduction: Females deposit their eggs on tree trunks and the caterpillars venture to violets once hatched.
  • Lifespan: Completing its life stages, it exists for about a year.
  • Host Plants: Violets are the primary nibble spots for their young caterpillars.

23. Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera)

Wall Brown Butterfly

Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera)
  • Habitat: Typically seen in sunny, open spaces like grasslands, clearings, and even cliffs.
  • Appearance: Brown wings with eye-catching orange patches and intricate patterns.
  • Size: Their wings, when spread, measure about 1.8-2.2 inches (4.5-5.5 cm).
  • Diet: They feed on a variety of flower nectars, particularly daisies.
  • Reproduction: Eggs are laid singularly on grass, which the hatched caterpillars consume.
  • Lifespan: A journey from egg to the flitting butterfly takes roughly a year.
  • Host Plants: Various grasses cater to the dietary needs of their caterpillars.

24. Heath Fritillary (Melitaea athalia)

Heath Fritillary Butterfly

Heath Fritillary (Melitaea athalia)
  • Habitat: Prefers damp meadows, woodland clearings, and moorlands.
  • Appearance: A beautiful play of brown and orange in a checkered pattern makes them distinct.
  • Size: Their beautiful wings stretch between 1.6 and 2 inches.
  • Diet: They often sip nectar from plants like self-heal and bugle.
  • Reproduction: Following mating, females lay clusters of eggs on the underside of leaves.
  • Lifespan: The butterfly, from its beginning as an egg, lives about a year.
  • Host Plants: Plantain and common cow-wheat are some favorites of their caterpillars.

25. Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)

Small Skipper Butterfly

Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)
  • Habitat: Loves sunny grasslands and meadows, often seen resting on tall grasses.
  • Appearance: Orange wings with a light brown edge. Its undersides are more muted in color.
  • Size: Small, with a wingspan of about 1.1-1.3 inches (2.8-3.3 cm).
  • Diet: Prefers to sip nectar from flowers like thistles and knapweed.
  • Reproduction: Lays its eggs on the underside of grass blades, particularly preferring species like Yorkshire Fog.
  • Lifespan: Around 5-7 weeks for the butterfly, with a year for the entire life cycle.
  • Host Plants: The caterpillars are fond of feeding on various grasses, especially the Yorkshire Fog.

26. Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io)

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io)
  • Habitat: Can be found in various environments, including gardens, woodlands, and meadows.
  • Appearance: Recognizable due to its stunning eye patterns on deep red wings.
  • Size: Their wings spread beautifully over 2.3-2.6 inches (5.8-6.6 cm).
  • Diet: They’re drawn to a wide variety of flowering plants, such as buddleia and dandelions.
  • Reproduction: After mating, females lay their eggs in clusters under nettle leaves.
  • Lifespan: From their beginning as an egg to the vibrant butterfly, they live about a year.
  • Host Plants: Stinging nettles predominantly serve as their caterpillars’ food source.

28. Comma (Polygonia c-album)

Comma Butterfly

Comma (Polygonia c-album)
  • Habitat: Often spotted in gardens, woodland clearings, and hedgerows.
  • Appearance: Orange and brown wings with jagged edges and a small white ‘comma’ mark underneath.
  • Size: A moderate wingspan of about 2-2.4 inches (5-6 cm).
  • Diet: Enjoys feeding on overripe fruit and flower nectar.
  • Reproduction: Females lay their eggs singularly on the host plant’s leaves.
  • Lifespan: Their life, from an egg to a full-fledged butterfly, lasts around a year.
  • Host Plants: Stinging nettles and hops are primary favorites for their caterpillars.

27. Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

Green Hairstreak Butterfly

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)
  • Habitat: Typically inhabits heathlands, woodland clearings, and grassy meadows.
  • Appearance: Their undersides are a vibrant green, helping them blend with leaves.
  • Size: A petite wingspan of 1-1.2 inches (2.5-3 cm).
  • Diet: They feed on a variety of flower nectars.
  • Reproduction: Females discreetly place their eggs on host plants.
  • Lifespan: Their life journey, from egg to butterfly, is roughly a year.
  • Host Plants: Bilberry, gorse, and bird’s-foot trefoil are among their caterpillars’ favorites.

28. Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus)

Large Skipper Butterfly

Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus)
  • Habitat: Likes grassy places, such as meadows and clearings.
  • Appearance: Orange and brown wings with tiny patterns.
  • Size: Wings stretch about 1.3-1.6 inches (3.3-4 cm).
  • Diet: Eats nectar from flowers like thistles and bramble.
  • Reproduction: Lays eggs on grass stems.
  • Lifespan: They live for about a year from egg to butterfly.
  • Host Plants: Their caterpillars eat different types of grasses.

29. Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages)

Dingy Skipper Butterfly

Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages)
  • Habitat: Found in open, grassy places.
  • Appearance: Brown wings with small light spots.
  • Size: Small, with wings about 1-1.2 inches (2.5-3 cm).
  • Diet: Drinks nectar from low-growing flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs on grass leaves.
  • Lifespan: Around a year from start to end.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars eat grass like sheep’s fescue.

30. Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus)

Clouded Yellow Butterfly

Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus)
  • Habitat: Spotted in open grasslands and meadows.
  • Appearance: Bright yellow wings with wide dark edges.
  • Size: A medium size, wings measure 2-2.4 inches (5-6 cm).
  • Diet: Drinks nectar from flowers like clover.
  • Reproduction: Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves.
  • Lifespan: Roughly a year, from egg to adult.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars prefer clover and lucerne.

31. Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

Holly Blue Butterfly

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
  • Habitat: Found in gardens, woods, and hedges.
  • Appearance: Lovely blue wings with small black spots.
  • Size: Small size, wings are about 1.2-1.4 inches (3-3.5 cm).
  • Diet: Drinks nectar from a range of flowers.
  • Reproduction: Lays eggs on flower buds.
  • Lifespan: Lives for about a year.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars eat holly in spring and ivy in late summer.

32. Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)

Meadow Brown Butterfly

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
  • Habitat: Lives in grassy fields and meadows.
  • Appearance: Brown wings with an eye spot and a touch of orange.
  • Size: Medium, wings stretch 1.8-2.2 inches (4.5-5.5 cm).
  • Diet: Eats flower nectar.
  • Reproduction: Puts eggs on grass blades.
  • Lifespan: Roughly a year in total.
  • Host Plants: Young ones feed on grasses like fescues.

33. Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

Gatekeeper Butterfly

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
  • Habitat: Likes hedges, fields, and sunny places.
  • Appearance: Orange wings with a brown edge and two eye spots.
  • Size: Medium, wings are about 1.6-1.9 inches (4-4.8 cm).
  • Diet: Drinks nectar from flowers like bramble.
  • Reproduction: Lays eggs on grass stems.
  • Lifespan: They live about a year.
  • Host Plants: Their young eat various grasses.

34. Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
  • Habitat: Loves sunny, open areas.
  • Appearance: Bright orange and brown wings with tiny spots.
  • Size: Small, wings spread about 1.2-1.4 inches (3-3.5 cm).
  • Diet: Drinks nectar from flowers like daisies.
  • Reproduction: Lays eggs on the undersides of leaves.
  • Lifespan: They live for about a year.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars like sorrel and dock plants.

35. Large White (Pieris brassicae)

Large White Butterfly

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
  • Habitat: Found in gardens, fields, and open lands.
  • Appearance: White wings with black tips. Males have less black than females.
  • Size: Fairly big, wings measure 2.4-2.8 inches (6-7 cm).
  • Diet: Drinks nectar from many flowers.
  • Reproduction: Places eggs under cabbage leaves.
  • Lifespan: About one year in total.
  • Host Plants: Young ones munch on cabbages and other similar plants.

36. Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)

Brimstone Butterfly

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
  • Habitat: Likes woods, hedges, and grassy places.
  • Appearance: Leaf-like wings, males are lemon-yellow and females are pale green.
  • Size: Medium-large, wings stretch 2-2.4 inches (5-6 cm).
  • Diet: Loves nectar from flowers like buddleia.
  • Reproduction: Lays eggs on buckthorn bushes.
  • Lifespan: Can live up to one year.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars eat buckthorn leaves.

37. High Brown Fritillary (Argynnis adippe)

High Brown Fritillary Butterfly

High Brown Fritillary (Argynnis adippe)
  • Habitat: Likes sunny clearings in woodlands.
  • Appearance: Bright orange wings with many black marks.
  • Size: Large, wings stretch about 2.5-2.8 inches (6.3-7 cm).
  • Diet: Feeds on flower nectar.
  • Reproduction: Lays eggs on leaf litter.
  • Lifespan: About a year.
  • Host Plants: Young ones eat violets.

38. Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Small Heath Butterfly

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
  • Habitat: Found in grassy places and heathlands.
  • Appearance: Brown wings with eye spots and a touch of orange.
  • Size: Small, wings measure about 1.2-1.4 inches (3-3.5 cm).
  • Diet: Loves flower nectar.
  • Reproduction: Places eggs on grass stems.
  • Lifespan: Roughly a year in total.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars munch on fine grasses.

39. White Admiral (Limenitis camilla)

White Admiral Butterfly

White Admiral (Limenitis camilla)
  • Habitat: Loves shady woods and forests.
  • Appearance: Dark wings with white bands running across.
  • Size: Medium, wings spread about 2-2.4 inches (5-6 cm).
  • Diet: Enjoys nectar, especially from bramble flowers.
  • Reproduction: Lays eggs on honeysuckle vines.
  • Lifespan: About a year in all its stages.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars feed on honeysuckle.

40. Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
  • Habitat: Found almost everywhere, from gardens to fields.
  • Appearance: Orange wings with black and white patterns.
  • Size: Medium, wings reach about 2.2-2.9 inches (5.5-7.3 cm).
  • Diet: Drinks nectar from various flowers.
  • Reproduction: Places eggs on thistles.
  • Lifespan: Roughly 2-3 months for the butterfly, up to a year for the entire lifecycle.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars munch on thistles and mallows.

Butterfly Watching in Italy

When to Watch

The best time to see butterflies in Italy is during the warmer months. Spring and summer, from April to September, are perfect. This is when butterflies come out to enjoy the sun and find food. Just like the unique variety of moths in Texas, if you visit Italy during these months, you’ll see many butterflies flying around.

Where to Watch

Italy has many beautiful places to see butterflies. Some of the best spots are:

  • Gran Paradiso National Park: Located in the north, this park has many kinds of butterflies. The flowers and high mountains make it a great home for them.
  • The Dolomites: This mountain range is also in the north. It’s not just famous for its tall peaks, but also for the butterflies that live there.
  • Tuscan Countryside: The fields and hills of Tuscany, in central Italy, are full of colorful butterflies, especially in sunny areas.
  • Gargano National Park: This park in the south is close to the sea. It has forests and flowers where butterflies love to be.

If you plan a trip to these places, remember to bring a good camera. The butterflies you’ll see are very beautiful!

6 Fun Facts about Butterflies Of Italy

  1. Ancient Beauty: Did you know that Italy has drawings of butterflies from a long time ago? Some ancient Roman artworks show these lovely creatures.
  2. Butterfly Names: In Italian, the word for butterfly is “farfalla.” If you hear someone saying “farfalla” when you’re in Italy, they’re talking about a butterfly!
  3. Special Italian Butterfly: The Corsican Swallowtail is a special butterfly that lives only in Italy and a few nearby places. It’s named after Corsica, an island close to Italy.
  4. City Lovers: Not all butterflies live in the countryside. Some, like the Red Admiral, can also be found in Italian cities, visiting gardens and parks.
  5. Butterflies and Pasta?: Italy is famous for pasta, right? Well, there’s a type of pasta called “farfalle,” which means butterflies in Italian. It’s shaped like a butterfly!
  6. Night-time Flyers: While most butterflies in Italy fly during the day, there are some, like the Red Underwing, that fly at night. So, if you’re out in the evening, keep an eye out!

If you find this fascinating, you might also be interested in the butterfly that lives only for 24 hours.

Final Thoughts

Italy, with its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and delicious food, is a paradise in many ways. Among its natural treasures, the delicate and colorful butterflies stand out, offering a glimpse into the country’s diverse ecosystem.

Whether you’re exploring the mountainous regions of the Dolomites or strolling through the Tuscan countryside, the dance of the “farfalle” adds a magical touch to the Italian experience.

So, the next time you find yourself in this wonderful country, take a moment to appreciate these winged wonders and the vibrant splash of color they bring to Italy’s tapestry of life.

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