Cacyreus marshalli

Geranium Bronze

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: marshalli

Gran Canaria, Spain, April 2011

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Fuerteventura, Spain, February 2014

Field notes and information

This species is a native of Southern Africa. It arrived in Europe in the early 1990s and has since spread around the western Mediterranean where it can be easily found and is often common in towns and villages. It is spreading eastwards too, although more slowly, with records from south Italy, Greece etc. It is occasional in northern Europe (UK, Holland etc) where it is likely to arrive by importation of the larval foodplant, decorative geraniums.

Identification & Similar species: Distinctive. The underside markings are quite unlike any other European butterfly - brown ground colour with white blotches and lines. The strongly chequered fringes and a long tail on the hindwing are also distinctive.

Distribution & Flight: Hot places in western Europe, Canary Islands and north Africa. Spreading eastwards into Italy and Greece etc. It flies in warmer months. In the northern limits of its European range, it hibernates indoors on decorative flowers that have been brought inside to be overwintered.

Habitat & Behaviour: Larval food plant wild and cultivated Pelargonium. This is commonly used as a decorative plant in villages and towns which is why the species is so often encountered in urban areas. Rarely opens its wings when taking nectar, but will show its uppersides when basking in sunshine, usually on leaves or grasses.

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Prov. Malaga, Spain, July 2013

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Fuerteventura, Spain, February 2015

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Gennargentu, Sardinia, Italy, July 2015

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Gennargentu, Sardinia, Italy, July 2015

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Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

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N Tenerife, Spain, April 2012

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Prov. Malaga, Spain, July 2013

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Venice, Italy, July 2014

Blending in nicely with the Philipino shells on sale in the markets of Venice.

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Provence, France, August 2004

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Gran Canaria, Spain, April 2011

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Gibraltar, October 2006