Distribution: The Danube from S Austria. In Greece: W, N, E.
Identification: Very similar to the Lesser Purple Emperor, A. ilia.
It is smaller, always(?) associated with water and certainly associated with the
larval food plant Slender Leaved Willow, Salix alba. The two butterflies
are separated by the smaller size of the metis and the small spot in the
post discal band of space 2 upper forewing and upper hindwing spots are orange
on a dark background (compared to dark spots on orange for ilia).
Flight time: End of May/ June and a second brood end July/ August.
Habitat: Associated with the larval food plant Slender Leaved Willow,
Salix alba. This tree is very closely associated with water - riverine or
Behaviour: Flies from early morning, stopping as early as 10am in very
hot weather (as experienced in August 2008 where temperatures were 30°C by 10am
and around 38°C by early/mid afternoon). Will rest on tree trunks about 5m above
the ground to warm up and may rest lower down on leaves with wings closed.
Weakly(?) attracted to animal excrement. The butterflies fly powerfully in and
out of riverside/ woodland edge trees from ground level but much more frequently
at 5 to 10 or more meters up.