Not found in the UK. This striking butterfly exhibits seasonal dimorphism, having two forms, levana and prorsa that represent the spring and summer broods. levana individuals are primarily orange in colour, giving them the appearance of a small fritillary, whereas prorsa individuals look more like a small White Admiral.

The Map was unofficially introduced to the UK in 1912 when the butterfly became established in the Forest of Dean in Monmouthshire and Symond's Yat in Herefordshire. An entomologist at the time, A.B. Farn, was so opposed to the introduction of a foreign species that, in 1914, he collected and destroyed every butterfly he could find. However, the ultimate demise of the colonies is believed to be the result of additional (and unknown) factors.

There have been other records from England, some in recent years that are attributed to be either genuine migrants, accidental imports or releases from captive-bred stock.

Eggs are pale green and laid on top of each other in long strings hanging from leaves of Stinging Nettle (Urticaceae). The caterpillars are black, speckled along the back with pale yellow, and have dark orange multi-branched spikes along the back and sides. The chrysalis is pale brown, marbled and flecked with olive, usually suspended by the cremaster from a stem of the foodplant.

Adults use a wide range of herbaceous plants for nectar while males are known to absorb salts and other nutrients from damp soil.

Size and Family

  • Family: Nymphalids
  • Size: Medium
  • Wing Span Range (male to female): 40-50mm

Conservation Status

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

Caterpillar Foodplants

Caterpillars feed on Stinging Nettle


Open deciduous woodlands, riverbanks and on farmland where stinging nettle is abundant.


  • Central Europe, extending across temperate Asia to China, Korea and Japan.
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970s: N/A
Map (levana upperwing) - Tamás Nestor

Map (levana upperwing)

Map (underwing) - Tamás Nestor

Map (underwing)

Map (prorsa upperwing) - Tamás Nestor

Map (prorsa upperwing)