Unidentified Spanish Butterfly

P. Stadel Nielsen fdki at post2.tele.dk
Sat Jun 14 07:58:42 EDT 1997

A.P.K.Torry <apktorry at csm.ex.ac.uk> wrote in
<8874.9706131226 at csm.exeter.ac.uk>...
> A description of the species follows:-
>                 Both sexes have a wingspan of 18-22mm, with no apparent
>                 between males and females.
>                 Both sexes have dark brown (Deep chestnut) forewings.
>                 Both fringes (FW and HW) are deeply chequered (about 1mm
>                 In both sexes, the hindwing has a 2-3mm long tail,
coloured deep brown
>                 The 'tail' leaves the wing area at an oblique angle to
the body rather
>                 like a Hairstreak as opposed to say L.boeticus which is
nearly parallel to the body.
>                 The underside of both wings has a pale fawn/cream
background  with
>                 large irregular patches of darker ochreous colour. The
patches  form a
>                 rather indistinct set of 'stripes' about 1-1.5mm in

Sound very much like Cacyreus marshallii (the Geranium Bronze) which was
accidentally introduced to Mallorca  abt. 1989 and now is widespread and a
pest in large parts of Spain. The butterfly is considered introduced from
South Africa and is now completely out of control in Spain along the
Mediterrranean coast and in central Spain in Zaragoza and Madrid. Larvae
feeds in stems of Geraniums especially cultivated types, and can therefore
not be killed by pesticides. It is said that on Mallorca growing of
Geranium is now almost impossible.

For more information see the Spanish paper SHILAP and also Butterfly
Conservation News had an article about this species 2 years ago.

Kind regards
P. Stadel Nielsen, Denmark
fdki at post2.tele.dk

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