Vanessa atalanta atalanta
An unmistakably elegant black, red, and white butterfly with a wingspan of 55-80 mm, females being larger but otherwise nearly identical to males. This butterfly lives in all types of habitats, such as coasts, farmland, gardens, riversides, woodland, meadows, grassland, and stony slopes. Host plants include sandwort-leaved pellitory (Parietaria alsinifolia), basil-leaved pellitory (P. judaica), Roman nettle (Urtica pilulifera), stinging nettle (U. dioica), small nettle (U. urens), thistles (Carduus and Cirsium spp.), everlasting (Helichrysum spp.), and willows (Salix spp.). This migratory species flies June through October, its flight is high, purposeful, and could even be described as “batlike.” It also feeds on rotting fruit and tree resin.
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