Camberwell Beauty (Nymphalis antiopa)

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Wingspan 7 6- 88mm.

It is named after its first reported sighting in Britain, near Camberwell in south-east London, in 1748.

A spectacular species. It is a Rare migrant and powerful migrant reaching areas to the north and west of its range . Quite often to be found taking sap from trees, thonly occasionally visiting a thistle for sustenance.


The uppersides are dark reddish purple. The margins of both wings are creamy-yellow. Inside this the wings have a line of blue spots. The underside is dark with a yellow border. Males and females are similar.


The Camberwell Beauty is a large and striking butterfly rarely seen in Britain and Ireland, but which occasionally arrives in large numbers. Most of the individuals seen here probably migrate from Scandinavia where it is widespread and sometimes locally abundant. When they arrive, the adults are known to visit gardens and nectar on buddleias.


Widespread across central Europe to Norway and Sweden, and found across Asia and North America.


A range of tree species is used, mainly willows (Salix spp.), elms (Ulmus spp.), and poplars (Populus spp.).

Habitat & Ecology

The Camberwell Beauty is normally found in woodland habitats in mainland Europe. It also breeds in a range of other habitats such as river valleys, dunes, parks, and gardens. The larval foodplants are species of willow, elm or poplar. The species is univoltine with adults overwintering. The adults are wide-ranging. There are no records of breeding in Britain and Ireland, and it is considered climatic conditions are not suitable for successful overwintering by adults.