This is a large and distinctive butterfly, even in flight, as the white wing borders are unmistakable. The adults live solitary and, as such, migrate singly rather than in the swarms associated with other migrant species.

Migrant insects arrive in Great Britain most years during summer and autumn, but numbers are usually very low. There is no evidence that the species breeds in Britain; it is thought that mild, wet winters prevent them from surviving here for very long. It was believed that some sightings had originated from individuals that had hibernated in stacks of timber which were then shipped to England, and had not travelled naturally.

These butterflies have a lifespan of 11 to 12 months, one of the longest life-spans for any butterfly.

Size and Family

  • Family: Nymphalids
  • Size: Large
  • Wing Span Range (male to female): 76-88mm

Conservation Status                  

  • Butterfly Conservation priority: Non-native
  • European status:

Caterpillar Foodplants

Caterpillars feed primarily on Elms (Ulmus ssp), Poplars (Populus) and Willows (Salix).

Habitat

In Europe and America, the butterfly is found predominantly in cold, mountainous areas but can often be seen in hardwood forests and even gardens where it will feed on rotting fruit.

Distribution

  • Countries: Commonly found throughout all of North America and most of northern Eurasia, except the UK and Ireland. 
  • There have been sightings from many parts of the British Isles but most records are from eastern counties.
Camberwell Beauty (upperwing) - Adam Gor

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing)

Camberwell Beauty (underwing) - Adam Gor

Camberwell Beauty (underwing)

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing) - Adam Gor

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing)

Camberwell Beauty (underwing) - Adam Gor

Camberwell Beauty (underwing)

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing) - Adam Gor

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing)

Camberwell Beauty (underwing) - Tim Melling

Camberwell Beauty (underwing)

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing) - Ervin Szombathelyi

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing)

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing) - Adam Gor

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing)

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing) - Peter Eeles

Camberwell Beauty (upperwing)

Camberwell Beauty (caterpillar) - Tapio Kujala

Camberwell Beauty (caterpillar)

Camberwell Beauty (caterpillar) - Dean Morley

Camberwell Beauty (caterpillar)

Camberwell Beauty (pupa) - Peter Eeles

Camberwell Beauty (pupa)


Similar species