Southern festoon (Zerynthia polyxena)

Our protected day-flying moths. The only host plant of the caterpillar is the European birthwort, which is a very common plant species, it occurs several times in the Peszér-forest, so the birthwort butterfly can be found in several places.

In Hungary, it can be found all over the country.

Its habitats are grove and swamp forests, due to the caterpillar host plan is living there but nowadays birthwort is now found in other, more secondary areas as well, such as fresh acacias, degraded forests and ditch banks.

Its caterpillar is monophagous, in Hungary it lives solely on its birthwort.

The imago of a single generation flies from early April to late May (early July), with the swarming peak falling to late April.

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Photo by Judit Hartdégen and Arnold Erdélyi, May 2019

About it’s caterpillar on our website:


Protected species oakeylife photos Peszér-forest protected species