Cacyreus marshalli

Geranium Bronze


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
Photo: marshalli13.jpg

Gran Canaria, Spain, April 2011

Photo: marshalli38.jpg

Almeria, Spain, May 2019

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.

Photo: marshalli16.jpg

Prov. Malaga, Spain, July 2013

Photo: marshalli24.jpgPhoto: marshalli26.jpgPhoto: marshalli27.jpg

Gennargentu, Sardinia, Italy, July 2015

Photo: marshalli21.jpgPhoto: marshalli22.jpg

Fuerteventura, Spain, February 2015

Photo: marshalli31.jpg

Thessaloniki, Greece, July 2016

Photo: marshalli33.jpgPhoto: marshalli34.jpg

Rhodes, Greece, May 2017

Photo: marshalli28.jpgPhoto: marshalli23.jpg

Gennargentu, Sardinia, Italy, July 2015

Photo: marshalli43.jpgPhoto: marshalli45.jpgPhoto: marshalli47.jpgPhoto: marshalli48.jpgPhoto: marshalli39.jpg

Vaud, Switzerland, November 2022

Photo: marshalli40.jpgPhoto: marshalli41.jpgPhoto: marshalli42.jpgPhoto: marshalli44.jpgPhoto: marshalli49.jpg

Vaud, Switzerland, November 2022