Melitaea asteria Freyer, 1828

Melitaea asteria: Male [S] Melitaea asteria: Female [N] Melitaea asteria: Female [S] Melitaea asteria: Lower side [S] Melitaea asteria: Ovae at Bartsia alpina [N] Melitaea asteria: Young larva [S] Melitaea asteria: Fully-grown larva [S] Melitaea asteria: Nest of larvae at Veronica bellidioides (near Pontresina on 2300 m above sea level) [N] Melitaea asteria: Same larval webbing. The larvae stayed near the ground in the webbing (September 2007). [N] Melitaea asteria: Pupa, lateral [S] Melitaea asteria: Pupa, dorsal [S] Melitaea asteria: Habitat in the Engadin [N]

Host plants:
The larva feeds on Plantago, Veronica and Bartsia alpina. I observed an oviposition on Bartsia and caterpillar nests in September at Veronica bellidioides (in the Engadin at about 2300m above sea level).

Melitaea asteria inhabits high alpine, mostly rather dry slopes above the tree line with preferred low-growing vegetation and strong insolation.

Life cycle:
The caterpillar overwinters probably usually twice, maybe even three times in rarer cases. The butterflies are on the wing from late June to early August, rarely later. Pupation takes often place on stones.

Endangerment factors:
In places, Melitaea asteria is endangered by overgrazing and tourism development.

Melitaea asteria occurs only locally in the central Alps from western Engadine eastward to about Salzburg.

Melitaea aetherie | Melitaea arduinna | Melitaea athalia | Melitaea aurelia | Melitaea britomartis | Melitaea cinxia | Melitaea deione | Melitaea diamina | Melitaea didyma | Melitaea ornata | Melitaea parthenoides | Melitaea phoebe | Melitaea pseudornata | Melitaea trivia | Melitaea varia