Melitaea arduinna (Esper, 1783)


Melitaea arduinna: Male (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Male (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Male (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Male (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Female (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Female (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Female (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Female (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Female (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Egg batch (N-Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [M] Melitaea arduinna: Young larva (e.o. N-Greece 2013) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Young larva (e.o. N-Greece 2013) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Young larva (e.o. N-Greece 2013) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Young larva (e.o. N-Greece 2013) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Young larva (e.o. N-Greece 2013) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Young larva (e.o. N-Greece 2013) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Half-grown larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Half-grown larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Half-grown larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Half-grown larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Half-grown larva (N-Greece, Mount Vitsi, early May 2014) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Half-grown larva (N-Greece, Mount Vitsi, early May 2014) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Half-grown larva (N-Greece, Mount Vitsi, early May 2014) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Larva in penultimate instar (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva in penultimate instar (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Larva (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Parasitized larva (N-Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Pupa (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Pupa (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Pupa (e.o. Vitsi, N-Greece, 2013/2014) [S] Melitaea arduinna: Oviposition habitat on mount Vitsi (N-Greece, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Habitat on mount Vitsi in late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Habitat on mount Vitsi in 1500m asl (Greece, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Habitat on mount Vitsi in 1500m asl (Greece, late June 2013) [N] Melitaea arduinna: Larval habitat on Mount Vitsi near Kastoria in early May 2014 [N] Melitaea arduinna: Larval habitat on Mount Vitsi near Kastoria in early May 2014 [N] Melitaea arduinna: Larval habitat on Mount Vitsi near Kastoria in early May 2014 [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feed on Centaurea species, in Europe most often Centaurea graeca.

Habitat:
Melitaea arduinna inhabits nutrient-poor, dry meadows and extensively used pastures.

Life cycle:
The butterflies are on the wing between May and July. I observed them already often worn on mount Vitsi in Northern Greece in late June 2013. The yellow eggs are laid in batches on the host plants. The larva hibernates and is mature between late April and early June. On Mount Vitsi in early May 2014, I found still half-grown larvae in loos groups feeding on the host plants or sun-basking on moss, grass or dead beech leaves.

Endangerment factors:
The very local colonies can be endangered quickly by infrastructure measures like new or broader roads, ski or other often touristic facilities.

Remarks:
Melitaea arduinna occurs in Europe only locally in the Balkans and the south of the former Sovjet Union. In the Balkans it is mainly found in Macedonia, Northern Greece, eastern Bulgaria and eastern Romania.
The butterfly also occurs in parts of Asia.



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