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Map top view
Map top view

The map (Araschnia levana) is a butterfly species in the family Nymphalidae. There are two generations a year whose adults look significantly different. The reason for this is to find in the different day lengths (sunrise to sunset) during the development of both generations’ caterpillars. The reason for this is the differing amounts of daylight available during the caterpillars’ development. The name of the butterfly is derived from the marking on the underside of the wings, which resembles a map. This butterfly is found in Europe, Central Asia and Japan. It is beginning to spread to Scandinavia and the Baltic States.
Map from behind
Map from behind
Female maps of the first generation (spring) reach wingspans of up to 38 mm, those of the second generation (summer) reach 43 mm, while the males can reach spans of 32 mm in spring and 38 mm in summer. The body of the butterfly is slim and the upper surface is a black-brown colour. The underside is lighter and slightly hairy. The rings on the segments are white. The upper surface of the wings in the spring generation is a brownish-red to orange colour and is interspersed with black patches. The summer generation are black-brown to black or sometimes blue-black) The undersides of the wings in the two generations differ only slightly.
Map from the side
Map from the side
Maps prefer to live in damp areas with nettles, which blooms - in addition to those of the Velcro – are delivering food (nectar). In Germany, the map overwinters as a pupa. In April, the spring generation hatch, the males slightly earlier than the females.
The females lay their fertilized eggs on nettles. The eggs are green and 8 - 10 of them are united. The caterpillars hatch after 10 days and are black, 25 mm in length, and covered in dark spines. They feed on nettles, until they pupate 18 days later. The pupae are 15 mm in length. 2-3 weeks later, the adult butterflies of the summer generation hatch.
The map’s natural enemies are birds, ichneumon wasps, tachinid flies, millipedes, spiders and predatory bugs. The map was the "Butterfly of the Year" in 2007.

Araschnia levana
Common namesEuropean Map, Map butterfly, Map
German namesLandkärtchen, Netzfalter, Landkärtchenfalter
Dutch namesLandkaartje
Danish namesNældesommerfugl
Finnish namesKarttaperhonen
Swedish namesKartfjäril
Spanish namesPrótea, Protea
Italian namesVanessa levana
French namesCarte géographique, Jaspé, La
AuthorCarl von Linné (Carl Nilsson Linnæus), 1758

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain (England (English Midlands (West Midlands (Herefordshire)))))), Germany (West Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia)), Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark), Fennoscandia (Finland), Baltic region (Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania))), West Europe (Austria, France (South France (Occitania (Midi-Pyrenees)), North France (Burgundy-Franche-Comté (Burgundy (Saône-et-Loire)))), Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands (North Netherlands (Groningen)), Luxembourg)), South Europe (Italy (North Italy), Iberian Peninsula (Spain)), Central Europe (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic (Moravia, Bohemia), Slovakia), Southeast Europe (Romania, Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro (Serbia), Bosnia and Herzegovina), Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova), East Europe (Ukraine, Belarus)
Far East (East Asia (China, Japan, Mongolia, Korea (North Korea, South Korea))), West Asia (Near East (Turkey)), Central Asia (Turkestan (Kazakhstan)), North Asia
Siberia (West Siberia (Kemerovo Oblast), Russian Far East (Sakhalin Oblast (Sakhalin))), European Russia (North European Russia (Leningrad Oblast), Central European Russia (Moscow Oblast))
North America
Mexico, Canada
South America
Central Africa


West Palaearctic

CountriesAustria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, North Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Links and ReferencesAraschnia levana in
Araschnia levana in
Araschnia levana in
Araschnia levana in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Map top view
2. Map from behind
3. Map from the side
Quick search: Butterflies - Map - Generation - Black - Butterfly - Summer
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True Brushfoots
Araschnia levana
European Map, Map butterfly, Map
AuthorLinnaeus, 1758
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Araschnia intermedia
Araschnia kudlai
Araschnia lactofasciata
Araschnia levana
Araschnia levana porrima
Araschnia levana prorsa
Araschnia marginelineata
Araschnia porima
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Araschnia levana borgesti
Araschnia levana levana
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Araschnia levana porima
Araschnia levana prorsa
Araschnia levana sachalinensis
Araschnia levana separata
Araschnia levana trybomi
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