Not found in the UK. There are two forms of this magnificent butterfly - the blue form ilia and the orange-brown form clytie, the latter is more commonly encountered in southern regions of its distribution.

Size and Family

  • Family: Nymphalids
  • Size: Large
  • Wing Span Range (male to female): 55-70mm

Conservation Status

  • Butterfly Conservation priority: Low                    
  • European Status: Not threatened

Caterpillar Foodplants

Caterpillars feed on Populus species, very rarely also on Salix. The caterpillars are usually found on Aspen (Populus tremula).


Woodland and forests often near rivers or damp areas.


  • Restricted in north Spain, France and eastwards across central Europe southwards to northern Greece.
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970s: N/A
Lesser Purple Emperor - Tamás Nestor

Lesser Purple Emperor - Tamás Nestor

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