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Brush-footed Butterfly - Nymphalidae
Brush-footed Butterfly - Nymphalidae

Brush-footed butterflies
Brush-footed butterflies (Nymphalidae), also called four-footed butterflies, are a family in the order moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera), the suborder Glossata, the infraorder Heteroneura (division: Dytrisia) and the superfamily Papilionoidea. The family Nymphalidae includes approximately 5000 to 6000 species and they are found worldwide. The brush-footed butterflies are divided into several subfamilies, which includes: Apaturinae, Biblidinae, Calinaginae, Charaxinae, Cyrestinae, Danainae, Heliconiinae, Libytheninae, Limenitidinae, Morphinae, Nymphalinae and Satyrinae.
In Europe 244 species are known and in Central Europe 115 are common. Some examples of the Central European species are: silver-washed fritillary (Argynnis paphia), cardinal (Argynnis pandora), dark green fritillary (Argynnis aglaja), high brown fritillary (Fabriciana adippe), niobe fritillary (Argynnis niobe), pallas' fritillary (Argynnis laodice), queen of spain fritillary (Issoria lathonia), lesser marbled fritillary (Brenthis ino), marbled fritillary (Brenthis daphne), bog fritillary or ocellate bog fritillary (Boloria eunomia), pearl-bordered fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne), titania's fritillary or purple bog fritillary (Boloria titania), small pearl-bordered fritillary (Boloria selene), weaver's fritillary or violet fritillary (Boloria dia), thor's fritillary (Boloria thore or Clossiana thore), cranberry fritillary (Boloria aquilonaris), red admiral (Vanessa atalanta), indian red admiral (Vanessa indica), painted lady (Vanessa cardui), european peacock (Inachis io), small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), comma (Polygonia c-album), map (Araschnia levana), camberwell beauty or mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), blackleg tortoiseshell or large tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros), l-album wainscot (Mythimna l-album), Euphydryas cynthia, Euphydryas intermedia, scarce fritillary (Euphydryas maturna), marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia), glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia), knapweed fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), spotted fritillary (Melitaea didyma), false heath fritillary (Melitaea diamina), nickerl's fritillary (Melitaea aurelia), heath fritillary (Melitaea athalia), poplar admiral (Limenitis populi), (Eurasian) white admiral (Limenitis camilla), southern white admiral (Limenitis reducta), speckled wood (Pararge aegeria), wall (Lasiommata megera), northern wall brown (Lasiommata petropolitana), large wall brown (Lasiommata maera), woodland brown (Lopinga achine), woodland brown (Lopinga achine), large heath or common ringlet (Coenonympha tullia), false ringlet (Coenonympha oedippus), pearly heath (Coenonympha arcania), chestnut heath (Coenonympha glycerion), scarce heath (Coenonympha hero), small heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), the ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus), scotch argus (Erebia aethiops), woodland ringlet (Erebia medusa), meadow brown (Maniola jurtina), grayling (Hipparchia semele), hermit (Chazara briseis) and great banded grayling (Brintesia circe).
Brush-footed butterflies reach wingspans of 10 - 100 mm. The upper surface of their wings is usually colourful, while the undersides are rather inconspicuous. Their proboscis is well developed and their antennae are club-shaped. The caterpillars of Nymphalidae have thread-like appendages or ones resembling thorns. Some are hairy and some are hairless.
Nymphalidae can fly fast and for long periods. They prefer sunny habitats. Many species are migrant moths. The caterpillars are gregarious and live on their forage plants (Violaceae, Urticaceae, Ulmaceae, Salicaceae, Cannabaceae, Caprifoliaceae or honeysuckle family etc.). When they want to pupate, they attach themselves to plants and other structures and hang from them.

Common namesBrush Footed Butterflies, Fritillaries, Browns, Admirals, Four-footed butterflies, Brushfoot butterflies, Purples, Mourningclocks, Crescent-spots, Checker-spots, Anglewings, Brushfooted Butterflies
German namesEdelfalter, Scheckenfalter, Fleckenfalter
Dutch namesVossen, Parelmoervlinders en weerschijnvlinders, Schoenlappers, Parelmoervlinders en zandoogjes, Aurelia´s, Aurelia’s
Danish namesTakvingefamilien
Finnish namesTäpläperhoset
Norwegian namesNymfevinger
Swedish namesPraktfjärilar, Ädelfjärilar
French namesNymphalides
AuthorRafinesque, 1815




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Links and ReferencesNymphalidae in
Nymphalidae in
Nymphalidae in
Nymphalidae in
Nymphalidae in Wikipedia (English)

Further chapters of "Brush-footed Butterflies"
- Painted lady
- Two-tailed pasha
- Comma
- Speckled Wood
- Gatekeeper
- Southern Gatekeeper
Description of images / photos
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1. Brush-footed Butterfly - Nymphalidae
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AuthorRafinesque, 1815
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