True Brushfoots

True Brushfoots (Nymphalinae) belong to the family of Brush-footed butterflies (Nymphalidae). They are medium to large-sized butterflies with a powerful flight and easy to identify. Most butterflies of this species use the nettle to deposit eggs.

Tribe: Coeini

The Mosaic – 2017 (CO)

The Mosaic (Colobura dirce) is a butterfly that is only seen in butterfly gardens in the Netherlands. I spotted this butterfly in wild nature in Medellin (Colombia). The bottom of the wings shows how it got its name. A pattern of alternating brown and white stripes can be seen. The Mosaic is very similar to its relative the Colobura annulata, which is very rare. The Mosaic is slightly smaller, but the main difference is related to the brown stripes in the apical area of the wing. For the Mosaic, they grow from fairly wide to clearly thinner towards the apex and are also lighter in colour. Two small orange and blue spots can also be seen on the underside of the rear wing. The upper side of the wing is dark brown to black with the same wide white-yellow band on the front wings that can also be seen on the underside. The Mosaic likes to sit on trees with its head down. Host plant: nettle. Dutch name: Zebravlinder. Frisian name: –


Tribe: Melitaeini

Orange-patched Crescent – 2017 (CO)

The Orange-patched Crescent (Anthanassa drusilla drusilla) is a butterfly common in South America. The brown rear wing has an orange band with two rows of half-moons on the wing margin. The brown front wing has many small and some larger orange spots. There is a variant of this fritillary (Anthanassa drusilla alceta) where those spots on the front wing can be seen as a large orange band. Host plant: -. Dutch name: Oranje-gevlekte parelmoervlinder. Frisian name: –


Tribe: Nymphalini

Painted Lady – 2006 (NL)

The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is a long-distance migrant that occurs in several generations in the Netherlands from March to October. The wingspan is 50-56mm. The underside of the hind wing has four black eye-spots each with a yellow border. The upperside is orange with black spots where the apical area of the front wings are black with white spots. The orange hair on the body is striking. Host plant: field thistle, mallow and common nettle. Dutch name: Distelvlinder. Frisian name: Stikelflinter.


Small Tortoiseshell – 2008 (NL)

The Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) flies from one to three generations from February to October. The upper side of the wing is orange with a black serrated band in the outer edge zone with the serrations filled with blue. There are three large black spots along the front edge of the fore wing. The wingspan is 50-56mm. With this butterfly, the hair on the body is also very strong. Host plant: common nettle. Dutch name: Kleine vos. Frisian name: Lytse foks.


Red Admiral – 2008 (NL)

The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) is a very common long-distance migrant that flies around in several generations from March to November. Each spring and continuing through the summer, there are northward migrations from North Africa. They are typically seen on garden buddleias or flowering Ivy and on rotting fruit. The upper side of the wing is black with an orange-red band and white spots at the apical area. An orange-red band with black small dots runs along the rear edge of the hind wing. The wingspan is ranging from 67-72mm. Females lay eggs and consequently there is an emergence of fresh butterflies, from about July onwards. Host plant: common nettle. Dutch name: Atalanta. Frisian name: Nûmerflinter.


Peacock Butterfly – 2008 (FR)

The Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io) is a very colourful butterfly that flies around for three generations from February to October. The upper side of this butterfly is reddish-brown with a striking eye-spot on each wing to startle or confuse predators. The eye-spots on the hind wing are white with a blue spot in them, while the spots on the front wing are yellow/blue with a reddish-brown stain. The underside of the wings, on the other hand, is black and looks like a dead leaf. The wingspan is 63-69mm. Host plant: common nettle, hop. Dutch name: Dagpauwoog. Frisian name: Deipau-each.


Map Butterfly – 2010 (NL)

The Map Butterfly (Araschnia levana) is a special butterfly as the spring generation looks very different from the summer generation, seasonal dimorphism. The upper side of the spring brood is orange with black spots and the summer brood has a black upper side with a yellow or whitish band at the wing margin. The underside is dark reddish-brown with white veins and transverse lines, the rear wing with a whitish band in the hemline. The wingspan is 40-50mm. The Map Butterfly flies in two or three generations from April to September. Adults use a wide range of herbaceous plants for nectar while males are known to absorb salts and other nutrients from damp soil. Host plant: large nettle. Dutch name: Landkaartje. Frisian name: Lânkaartflinter.


American Painted Lady – 2017 (CO)

I discovered the American Painted Lady (Vanessa virgiensis) in Medellín (Colombia). The colours of this specimen, mainly the orange colour, are brighter than those of the European Painted Lady. On the upper side of the rear wing are two black large spots with a white stain in it, in contrast to the European specimen where 4 small blue spots are present. Two dark spots can be seen on the underside of the rear wing, surrounded by a black thin circle. For the European species, there are four spots. Host plant: swamp dry flower. Dutch name: Distelvlinder (Amerikaans). Frisian name: Súdlike stikelflinter.


Tribe: Polygonia

Comma Butterfly – 2006 (NL)

The Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) is a butterfly that flies around in one to three generations from February to October. The wings are roughly corrugated with the upper side orange with black spots and the bottom brown and have a wingspan of 55-56mm. When the wings are held together in a resting position, the Comma Butterfly looks like a leaf on the tree due to the shape of the wings. An excellent camouflage. Striking is the C-shaped white spot on the underside of the hind wing. This butterfly owes its name to it. Host plant: nettle, hops, elm, willow and hazel. Dutch name: Gehakkelde aurelia. Frisian name: C-flinter.


Southern Comma – 2008 (JO)

The Southern Comma (Polygonia egea) is a butterfly that does not occur in the Netherlands. It is a butterfly found from the French Mediterranean coast to the East. The Southern Comma almost resembles its relative, but the black spots on the upper side of the front wings are smaller and the underside has a small white L-shaped spot. Host plant: upright pellitory. Dutch name: Zuidelijke aurelia. Frisian name: –


Tribe: Victoriniini

Brown Peacock – 2017 (NL)

The Brown Peacock (Anartia amathea) is mainly found around the Andes mountains. I spotted this beautifully coloured large brush-foot in Medellín (Colombia). Fresh specimens have a nice bright red band on the upper side of both the front and rear wings. This bright red colour changes into black towards the costa. On the rear wing, the white moon spots change to red, while on the front wing only white spots are present. As the butterfly ages, the red colour changes to orange. The two narrow red or orange-coloured narrow bands on the front wing remain intense in colour. The females often have a less intense colour than the males. Host plant: herbaceous plants. Dutch name: Scharlaken dagpauwoog. Frisian name: –


White Peacock – 2017 (CO)

The White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae) is a butterfly that is mainly found in Central and South America. This beautiful large brush-foot was spotted in Medellín (Colombia). The upper side of the wing is white with light brown markings and a double row of light coloured moons. The front wing has one black and round spot and the rear wing two. As the butterfly ages, the colours fade and appear almost white. The White Peacock is a real sun lover. In the morning it still flutters low to the ground, but as soon as the temperature rises it sits comfortably on a leaf and spreads its wings, enjoying the sun. Host plant: water hyssop, phyla and wild petunia. Dutch name: Witte dagpauwoog. Frisian name: –