The colour splendor of the butterflies
Butterflies, a group of insects that appeals to the imagination. Butterflies are synonymous with heat, sun, good weather and especially colour. Colour in the garden or in the field. But also very vulnerable insects, very dependent on the host plants. These are the plants on which the butterfly lays its eggs. Some butterfly species are very picky, the so-called monophagous species. For example the Scarce Large Blue (Phengaris teleius), which lays its eggs only on the Great Burnet. And that plant is almost extinct in the Netherlands.
Other, more common, species are less picky in host planting and they are called the polyphagous species. An example of this is the Peacock (Aglais io), a very common species that occurs in every garden and field. It lays its eggs on almost every wild plant species that can be found, for example nettles.
Approximately 53 different types of butterflies currently occur in the Netherlands, half of which are rare or very rare. Only by protecting the biotopes and nurturing the areas with the right host plants we can ensure that those (very) rare species do not go completely extinct.
My butterfly photo album is not yet as big as my bird photo album but it contains one very special butterfly, namely the valensina form of the Silver-Washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia forma valesina), a very rare butterfly that in August 2013 fed on the nectar of the Eupatorium in our garden. A euphoric moment, I can assure you.