Araschnia levana (European Map, Landkärtchen, La Carte Géographique)

Araschnia levana, also called European Map or Landkärtchen is a little butterfly from Palaearctic ecozone (Europe). The first description was in 1758 by Linnaeus. With a wingspan of 3.5 – 4.0 cm the European Map is a small member of the family NYMPHALIDAE. The butterfly is black or auburn with white spots. There are a auburn spring form and a black sommer form.

Photos for easy identification

Photo © by Mario Maier ([email protected])
Photo © by Mario Maier ([email protected])
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer, 14.04.2007; Vienna
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer, 14.04.2007; Vienna
Photo © by Rudolf Faustmann

These are nice photos of Araschnia levana (European Map, Landkärtchen, La Carte Géographique). Araschnia levana is a member of the family NYMPHALIDAE from Palaearctic (Europe).


The forewings are black. There are some white spots on the wing.
The underside is dark brown with whitish strips and spots, which are similar to a map.

The hind wings are black. The margin is ridged. There is a long white band in the middle of wing.
The underside is similar to the underside of forewings.

The body is grey but the upside is black.

Sex differences: None


The Eurpoean Map (Araschnia levana) is a little butterfly of the Palaearctic ecozone (Europe and Asia) and the Australasia & Indomalaya ecozone (Australia). The distribution extend from the middle of Europe to whole Asia and from Japan to Borneo, Java, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. You can see the Eurpoean Map until 1000 m sea level.

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

Flight period

The flight period of the Eurpopean Map is from April to October.

Larval food


Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer

General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1758 by Linnaeus. There are two subspecies.

The caterpillar is black with little white spots and it is very thorny. The caterpillar is similar to the caterpillar of Peacock. The pupa has no silken girdl. This species overwinters as pupa.
The European Map has two forms. The spring form is auburn an similar to the Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). The sommer form is black and similar to the Poplar Admiral (Limenitis populi) and the White Admiral (Limenitis camilla).
A European Map with criteria of both forms is uncommon but possible.

The best differentiators is the small scale of European Map.

Photo © by Mario Maier ([email protected])

Here you can see the underside of Araschnia levana (European Map, Landkärtchen, La Carte Géographique).

Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Limenitis camilla [Linnaeus, 1764] (White Admiral, Kleiner Eisvogel, Le Petit Sylvain)

Limenitis populi [Linnaeus, 1758] (Poplar Admiral, Großer Eisvogel, Le Grand Sylvain)

Vanessa cardui [Linnaeus, 1758] (Painted Lady, Distelfalter, La Belle Dame)

Scientific name

Araschnia levana Linnaeus 1758


European Map
 La Carte Géographique
Rusałka kratkowiec

Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

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




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Back to family Nymphalidae from PALAEARCTIC (EUROPE)


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