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Apatura ilia

Lesser Purple Emperor

Field Notes

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Ain, France, June 2007


Geneva, Switzerland, June 2009
Taking slats from animal excrement.


Geneva, Switzerland, June 2005


Rila Mts, Bulgaria, July 2004


Isère, France, July 2006


Isère, France, July 2006


Isère, France, July 2006


Slovensky Kras, Slovakia, July 2001


This is the slightly smaller cousin of the Purple Emperor, A. iris. It is just as stunning. The upperside of the male has similar optical effects with a bright mauve/ purple sheen when viewed from certain angles. The underside lacks the prominent white triangle of iris. It has similar habits to iris, taking salts from mud, dead animals, faeces, sweat etc. and flying high in the trees most of the time. I have found it in the centre of Lyon, France and other urban places so perhaps it has less exacting requirements for habitat than iris.