Butterflies

Butterfly fauna of Kefalonia has been studied quite satisfactorily. First, in 1986, Gaskin & Littler studied kefalonian Lepidoptera and recorded 28 species. A decade later, in 1996, Gaskin recorded 40 species from all around the island. So far, the most comprehensive study about insect fauna of Kefalonia has been carried out by researcher Efthimiatou-Katsouni in 2006, who confirmed the presence of 35 Lepidoptera species already-mentioned in previous studies; she also recorded 14 new taxa and a rare variety of a female individual Colias croceus Fourcroy, 1785 f. belice Hubner. Moreover, in 2015, Maroulis & Xanthakis have confirmed the presence of 31 butterfly species in Kefalonia, at the Paliki peninsula and Aenos National Park. During the summertime in mount Aenos occurs the gathering of different butterfly species, endemic to diverse flora species. For example, the flowers of thyme (Thymus holosericeus) attract the colorful impressive butterfly species Argynnis paphiaGonepteryx cleopatra (Fig. 2) Iphiclides podalirius (Fig. 3) and Aricia argestis (Fig. 1). Butterfly species Neozephyrus quercus swarm into the foliage of Quercus coccifera shrubs. In the forest meadows of Aenos National Park the following species have been recorded: Polyommatus IcarusLasiommata megera, Lasiommata maera, Colias croceus, Spialia orbifer, Satyrium ilicis, Papilio machaon (Fig. 4) ecc. Due to color imitation, butterflies of Genus Hipparchia syriacaHipparchia fatua (Fig. 5) and Hipparchia statilinus cannot easily be distinguished from tree trunks. It is worth mentioned that butterflies of Vanessa cardui were recorded for the first time to thrive and reproduce in the island of Kefalonia during the summer months. This fact may shed light to the appearance of Vanessa cardui subadult population early next year (January). Most probably population origin derives from eggs deposited in Greece and then turned into caterpillars and pupae, instead of flying back  from Africa, where the species annually migrates (Maroulis & Xanthakis, 2015).

Fig 1. Aricia argestis

At Aenos National Park 63 butterfly species have been recorded, out of the 235 species recorded in Greece. These 63 species divided into five families: Papilionidae (4 representative species), Hesperiidae (7 representative species), Pieridae (13 representative species), Lycaenidae (15 representative species), and Nymphalidae (24 representative species) (Pamperis, 2009). Butterfly species Hipparchia fagi and Hipparchia volgensis (Fig. 6) are native to Europe. Besides, four butterfly species, Pseudophilotes vicrama, Hipparchia fagi, Hipparchia statilinus and Thymelicus acteon are under threat to extinction according to the World Union for Nature Protection (IUCN – status NT: NearThreatened).

Fig 2. Gonepteryx cleopatra

The recording of Lepidoptera of Aenos National Park was performed by the scientific personnel of the Management Body of Aenos National Park and the kind collaboration of Christos Maroulis, a photographer of wild nature. 

Fig 3. Iphiclides podalirius
Εθνικός Δρυμός Αίνου
Εθνικός Δρυμός Αίνου
Εθνικός Δρυμός Αίνου
Εθνικός Δρυμός Αίνου
Εθνικός Δρυμός Αίνου
Εθνικός Δρυμός Αίνου
Εθνικός Δρυμός Αίνου
Back To Top