Gonepteryx rhamni (Linnaeus, 1758)


Gonepteryx rhamni: Male (Olympus, August 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Male (Greece, Olympus, August 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Male [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Male [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Adult (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, July 2011) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Female Gonepteryx rhamni: Female (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb 2012) [S] Gonepteryx rhamni: Female (Greece, Olympus, August 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Female (Greece, Olympus, August 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Ovum: In the early spring (March/early April) the eggs are deposited at twigs and buds. [M] Gonepteryx rhamni: Ovum [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Ovum [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: L1 [S] Gonepteryx rhamni: Young larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Germany, 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Half-grown larva (eastern Swabian Alb, 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Half-grown larva [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Half-grown larva [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larva in penultimate instar in moulting rest (last moult), eastern Swabian Alb, June 2012. [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larva [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Germany, June 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Germany, June 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Germany, June 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larva [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larva [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larva [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Praepupa (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Fresh pupa (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb, June 2012) [S] Gonepteryx rhamni: Pupa [S] Gonepteryx rhamni: Pupa prior emergence [S] Gonepteryx rhamni: Pupa [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larval habitat in a humid forest with Frangula alnus in the fringe (Southern Germany near Schwäbisch Gmünd, May 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Larval habitat in a humid forest with Frangula alnus in the fringe (Southern Germany near Schwäbisch Gmünd, May 2012) [N] Gonepteryx rhamni: Imaginal habitat in a thistle rich humid clearing near Schwäbisch Gmünd in summer 2012 [N]

Host plants:
The eggs are deposited on Rhamnaceae such as Rhamnus species and especially Frangula alnus.

Habitat:
Gonepteryx rhamni inhabits forests of all types, exceptionally also in open land (as imago). Occasionally, the butterfly also reproduces in parks, gardens and bushy grasslands. I found caterpillars in rocky grasslands at low growing Rhamnus catharticus and in suburban gardens. In the mountains Gonepteryx rhamni occurs only in the lower elevations up to about 1300m above sea level, but is rarely found even higher on the search for nectar plants.

Life cycle:
Gonepteryx rhamni hibernates as a adult free in the vegetation (Rubus fruticosus, ivy, grasses etc.) and is active again at the end of February on mild, sunny days. The adults fly until June and lay eggs from about mid-April. The caterpillars are found from May to July preferably on low bushes. The resulting adults fly again from July to August. In September, they are often already in hibernation rest. In winter you can observe butterflies for example in blackberry stocks, but not too rare also remnants of the pupal skins that had been attached to branches of the host plant in summer.

Endangerment factors:
Gonepteryx rhamni is widespread, common and not threatened. Gonepteryx rhamni is only locally in decline due to forest management (darkening of forests due to dense afforestations and single tree selection) and also in forest-poor regions.

Remarks:
The distribution ranges from Northwest Africa across much of Europe to Mongolia.



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