Nymphalis polychloros (Large Tortoiseshell, Großer Fuchs, Le Grand Tortue)

Nymphalis polychloros, also called Large Tortoiseshell or Großer Fuchs is a very rare butterfly from Palaearctic ecozone (Europe). The first description was in 1758 by Linnaeus. With a wingspan of 5.5– 6.5 cm the Large Tortoiseshell is a small member of the family NYMPHALIDAE. The butterfly is brown or auburn and has many black spots.


Photos for easy identification

Photo © by Mario Maier (Mario.Maier@butterflies.de)

This is a nice photo of Nymphalis polychloros (Large Tortoiseshell, Großer Fuchs, Le Grand Tortue). Nymphalis polychloros is a member of the family NYMPHALIDAE from Palaearctic (Europe).


Description

The forewings are brown or auburn. The margin is ridged and black. On the wing leading edge there are some yellowish spots. There are many black spots on the wings.
The underside is dark brown and marmorate. The margin is black.

The hind wings are brown or auburn. The margin is ridged and black with blue spots. There is only one big black spot on the wing.
The underside is dark brown and marmorate. The margin is black.

The body is dark brown.

Sex differences: None


Distribution

The Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros) is a very rare butterfly of the Palaearctic ecozone (Europe). The distribution include whole Europe and the North of Africa. You can see the Large Tortoiseshell until 1500 m sea level.


This world map shows the ecozones in which this butterfly is distributed.

Flight period

The flight period of the Large Tortoiseshell is from March to Oktober.


Larval food

Willow, Elm, Poplar, Fruit trees


General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1758 by Linnaeus. There is only one subspecies.

The caterpillar is black with two whitish strips and it is very thorny. The pupa has no silken girdl. This species overwinters as imago.


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Aglais urticae [Linnaeus, 1758] (Small Tortoiseshell, Kleiner Fuchs, La Petite Tortue)

Nymphalis antiopa [Linnaeus, 1758] (Camberwell Beauty, Trauermantel, Le Morio)

Polygonia c-album [Linnaeus, 1758] (Comma, C-Falter, Robert le Diable)


Scientific name

Nymphalis polychloros Linnaeus 1758


Synonym

 Large Tortoiseshell, Blackleg Tortoiseshell
 Großer Fuchs
 Le Grand Tortue
 Olmera
 Körsbärsfuks
 Kirsikkaperhonen
Grote vos
Kirsebartakvinge
Kirsebarsommerfugl
 Rusałka wierzbowiec
Babočka jilmová
Babôčka brestová


Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To the family tree (Genus: NYMPHALIS)...


Ecozone

PALAEARCTIC (Europe)

 

To the top

Back to family Nymphalidae from PALAEARCTIC (EUROPE)

 

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