Tag Archives: butterflies

Beautiful moth

Moths are almost impossible to identify but I was lucky with this lichen-like one. Discovered hiding behind the cushion on our outdoor sofa, he is beautifully-marked like an old-fashioned lace doily in shades of cream, coffee, earth and pewter with minute specks of gold.

I’m pretty sure it is a small ranunculus, mamestra dysodea, with a 30mm wingspan.

5 to remember
casi imposible – almost impossible
identificar – to identify
bellamente marcado – beautifully-marked
el peltre – the pewter
minúsculo – minute/tiny


Collins Photoguide: Complete Mediterranean Wildlife [UK: Collins]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
In shades of cream, coffee, earth & pewter with minute specks of gold #moths & #butterflies in #Spain https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2nq via @Spanish_Valley  

A garden tiger moth

This is a moth with two faces. At rest, his cream and dark brown forewings are zebra-patterned, very modern, very distinctive. Underneath are hidden his bright orange hindwings. I spotted him first resting on a wall, later collapsed upside-down on the terrace. Beautiful, if dead.

The garden tiger moth is heavy-bodied and hairy, quite easy-to-spot although they do come in a large variety of colour combinations. The colour is designed to ward-off predators, as the moth’s body fluids are poisonous due to its diet of plants such as potato and laburnum which give off toxic substances. If a threat is perceived, the moth opens its wings to show off its coat of many colours.

5 to remember
una polilla – a moth
las alas anteriores – the forewings
las alas posteriores – the hindwings
estampado de cebra – zebra-patterned
al revés – upside-down


Collins Butterfly Guide [UK: Collins]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A garden tiger moth in #Spain via @Spanish_Valley #moths http://wp.me/p3dYp6-26K

A lacy butterfly

This delicate butterfly was tiny, half the size of my toenail, and beautifully patterned like hand-sewn lace. White and brown, not startling shots of red or orange as some cream butterflies have.

I am unsure what type of butterfly it is, but based on its distinctive ruffled shape and colouring, and using my basic butterfly books, I have identified two options:-

Oberthur’s Grizzled Skipper [below], the underside of the male is similar to my pale specimen. This butterfly is attracted to thyme, and this herb grows everywhere around us.

[photo: ukbutterflies.co.uk]

Or it may be a Geranium Bronze [below], accidentally introduced to Spain from its native South Africa through the importation of pelargoniums.

[photo rawbirds.com]

Or it may be something completely different. If you know what it is, please let me know.

5 to remember
mi uña de los pies – my toenail
la parte inferior – the underside
entrecano – grizzled
bronce – bronze
si sabes lo que es – if you know what it is


Our favourite butterfly guide?
‘Collins Butterfly Guide’ [UK: Collins]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A lacy butterfly, but what is it? #Butterflies in #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-26C

A Clouded Yellow butterfly

I followed this butterfly, carefully at a distance, until finally he settled long enough for me to get this photograph. It was a sunny April morning and I was walking along the Thyme Track. Wildflowers were everywhere I looked. Clouded Yellow - male butterfly 14-4-15I am pretty confident it is a male Clouded Yellow butterfly. The male and female markings are very similar, but the male’s yellow marking with the black spot is stronger-coloured than the female’s. They fly from March to November in the Southern Mediterranean. His colouring, seen on the page of a book, looks very bright and you’d think he’d be obvious to spot. But if I hadn’t seen where he landed I would have lost him: the colouring and shape made him look like new spring foliage.

Click here for more about the Clouded Yellow at UK Butterflies.
5 to remember
a una distancia – at a distance
lo suficientemente largo – long enough
una mariposa – a butterfly
las marcas – the markings
obvio/a – obvious