Apatura metis 5 larvae

Apatura metis 5 larvae
Apatura metis 5 larvae Apatura metis 5 larvae
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Freyer’s Purple Emperor Apatura metis

 Apatura metis is a scarce species from eastern Europe, across to Palaearctic Far Eastern countries. It is associated with watery places where its foodplant Salix alba White Willow grows.

 With some subtle differences of marking, although a touch smaller, at first sight this rare species bears a strong resemblance to Apatura ilia clytie, and clytie  has been used here for the illustrations because this is a first and we have no photographs yet.

 The larvae are best sleeved on growing Willows, which can be planted outside, or potted.  They may well take other species of Salix , including Basket Willow S. viminalis.  The June larvae will produce butterflies this year. The pupae will be formed in the sleeve, dramatically camouflaged amongst the foliage. August larvae can be hibernated outside in sleeves.