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Canary speckled wood - Pararge xiphioides
Canary speckled wood - Pararge xiphioides

Canary speckled wood
The canary speckled wood (Pararge xiphioides) is a species in the order butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), the family Nymphalidae, the subfamily Satyrinae, the tribe Elymniini, and the genus Pararge. The species is widespread in the Canary Islands of La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria and is the most abundant butterfly there. The canary speckled wood is considered non-endangered and produces several new generations a year.
Pararge xiphioides- Canary speckled wood
Pararge xiphioides- Canary speckled wood
The adult butterflies (imagos) reach wingspans of 40 - 50 mm. The colour of their bodies varies widely. On the upper surface, brownish and reddish hues dominate. The head, chest and abdomen have brownish-yellow hair. Their forewings have a brownish-red upper surface, with a striking pattern of yellow to orange-red spots. There is always a black "eye" patch with a white core near the wing tips. On the bright seam of the wings runs a thin margin. Near the “eyes” are more patches of yellow. which run parallel to the outer edge of the wings. The outer edges of the forewings are convex. The underside of the forewings is a brownish colour and is mottled black, yellow and white. There is one white "eye" patch near the wing tips.
Butterfly - Canary speckled wood
Butterfly - Canary speckled wood
The basic colour of the upper surface of the hind wings is also brownish to reddish. It is also filled with yellowish-orange-red spots. Near the hem of the forewing whitish edge lines and 3-4 eye patches are as coexistent. The outer edge of the rear wing is concave. This is an important criterion to distinguish the canary speckled wood from other species of the genus Pararge. The undersides of the hind wings are ochre-coloured and slightly marbled with a brownish colour. In some sections, jagged lines follow the contours of the outer edge. Indistinct dark brown "eyes" with a light core can also be found on the undersides. The legs are grey-brown in colour.
The canary speckled wood can easily be confused with Pararge xiphia or Pararge aegeria. Similarities to Lasiommata maera and Lasiommata megera also exist.
The canary speckled wood is encountered throughout the year, at altitudes of 200 to 2000 metres in wooded areas, forest edges, on cultivated land, in gardens and at grassy cliffs. The females lay their eggs on the food plants (grasses) of the caterpillars, which hatch approximately 10 days later.
The caterpillars are nocturnal and live on, and eat, the grasses Brachypodium sylvaticum, Agrostis capillaris, broch sedge (Carex divulsa) and Luzula forsteri. The caterpillar is long and thin. It can reach body lengths of 25 - 27 mm and is yellowish-green in colour. There is a dark green stripe, on the upper surface of the back and slightly dark green and bright green shimmering lines on the sides. The entire body of the caterpillar is covered in individual, upright, light coloured hairs. The head is oval or round and clearly a blue-green colour. At the hind end a whitish tail boom is to see in the early larval stage. The caterpillars have stubby feet and are characterized by their excellent camouflage in the grasses where they live.
At the end of the larval period the caterpillars pupate on their host plants, where they prefer sheltered places such as niches. The pupae hang down from grass fronds near the soil. The pupae are difficult to make out on dry soil and leaf litter because of their camouflage colouration - yellowish green, later brownish-green or brown.

Pararge xiphioides
Common namesCanary speckled wood
German namesKanarisches Waldbrettspiel, Kanaren Waldbrettspiel, Kanaren-Waldbrettspiel
Dutch namesKanarisch bontzandoogje
French namesTircis canarien, Le
AuthorStaudinger, 1871

North Europe (Fennoscandia (Finland)), South Europe (Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal))
North Africa
Macaronesia (Canary Islands (La Gomera, Tenerife))


West Palaearctic

CountriesFinland, Portugal, Spain
Links and ReferencesPararge xiphioides in
Pararge xiphioides in
Pararge xiphioides in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
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1. Canary speckled wood - Pararge xiphioides
2. Pararge xiphioides- Canary speckled wood
3. Butterfly - Canary speckled wood
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Pararge xiphioides
Canary speckled wood
AuthorStaudinger, 1871
Papilio xiphia

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