Euphydryas beckeri (Lederer, 1853)


Euphydryas beckeri: Male (e.l. rearing, Spain, Albarracin, young larvae in late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Male (e.l. rearing, Spain, Albarracin, young larvae in late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Male (e.l. rearing, Spain, Albarracin, young larvae in late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Male (e.l. rearing, Spain, Albarracin, young larvae in late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Male (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Male (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Male (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Female (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Female (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Female (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Female (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Female (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Female (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Female (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Shelter of young larvae (Central Spain, Xodos, July 2013) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Shelter of young larvae (Central Spain, Xodos, July 2013) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Shelter of young larvae (Central Spain, Albarracin, late July 2017) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Shelter of young larvae (Central Spain, Albarracin, late July 2017) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Young larva (Central Spain, Albarracin, late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Young larva (Central Spain, Albarracin, late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Half-grown larva (e.l. rearing, Spain, Albarracin, young larvae in late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Half-grown larva (e.l. rearing, Spain, Albarracin, young larvae in late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Larva (e.l. rearing, Spain, Albarracin, young larvae in late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Larva (e.l. rearing, Spain, Albarracin, young larvae in late July 2017) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Half-grown larvae (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Half-grown larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Half-grown larvae (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Half-grown larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Half-grown larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Half-grown larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larvae (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larvae (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larvae (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larvae (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larva (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larvae (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larvae (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Pupa (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Pupa (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Pupa (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Pupa (e.l. rearing, S-Spain, Ronda, larvae in late March 2019) [S] Euphydryas beckeri: Larval habitat with hundreds of larvae in the hedge in the foreground (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larval habitat (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Larval habitat (S-Spain, Ronda, late March 2019) [N] Euphydryas beckeri: Habitat (Central Spain, Xodos, July 2013) [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feed on climbing Lonicera species.

Habitat:
Euphydryas beckeri inhabits most often woodland margins, hedges, scrub, bushy grasslands and other places where open or semiopen places are interspersed with groves.

Life cycle:
The larva hibernates. It usually still lives gregariously even after the hibernation. The larvae moult together on silken seat pads and also sunbath together. They disperse only when mature which is between late February and May, according to the site. The butterflies occur between early April and July, most often in May.

Remarks:
The taxon occurs in the Iberian Peninsula. Closely related forms are reported from NW-Africa.

Euphydryas beckeri has been considered a subspecies of E. aurinia for a long time. These two are indeed very closely related. There are a few points that favour a separation on species level such as the behaviour of the larvae or some morphological details, but not the host plant. E. aurinia is occasionally found on Lonicera at least after hibernation, too (own observations together with E. intermedia in Swiss Val Rosegg) and regional differences are common in many species. The butterfly is not concerned if it fits into human stereotyped thinking or not. Crossing experiments or hybrid zones etc. seem not to be examined sufficiently yet.

Literature:
Korb, S.K., Bolshakov, L.V., Fric, Z.F. & A. Bartonova (2016): Cluster biodiversity as a multidimensional structure evolution strategy: checkerspot butterflies of the group Euphydryas aurinia (Rottemburg, 1775) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Systematic Entomology 41(2): 441457.



Euphydryas aurinia | Euphydryas cynthia | Euphydryas desfontainii | Euphydryas iduna | Euphydryas intermedia | Euphydryas maturna