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Freyer’s Purple Emperor is a butterfly of very warm, damp places. The butterflies can be found along wooded riverbanks, with its foodplant, White Willow (Salix alba). The males and females meet each other at the tops of tall trees and the females lay their eggs in small batches at the top of the tree, on leaves in the crown. The caterpillars grow quickly and pupate suspended under a leaf or on a twig. The caterpillars from the generation that follows hibernate. The butterflies have a varied diet. The females visit flowers for nectar, aphids for honeydew and ripe fruit for the sugars. The males are often found on damp ground, on dung and on carrion. The butterflies are also attracted to sap oozing from wounded trees. This species has two generations a year. Habitats: mixed woodland (23%), alluvial and very wet forests and brush (23%), broad-leaved deciduous forests (17%), water-fringe vegetation (17%).


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© Chris van Swaay

Supplier: Katja Schulz

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