Madeira Butterflies

Madeira, as an island, has a distinct habitat from other mainland continents and the butterflies that survived to a long distance migration or were transported somehow sometimes colonised the island. When adapting to their new habitat, species usually develop some skills or characteristics that distinguish them from their European, African or even American relatives. But the introduction of other butterfly species might threaten the native butterflies, as the case of Madeiran Large White Pieris brassicae wollastoni that is now probably extinct after the introduction, in the mid-seventies, of the congeneric Small White Pieris rapae (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006) and as it is probably the case of the Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria, a widespread species in Europe which colonized the island in the 1970s and is now possibly threatening the Madeiran Speckled Wood Pararge xiphia (Jones & Lace 2008).

Below is the checklist of butterflies of Madeira archipelago with a total of 17 species with confirmed records to Madeira archipelago, from which 5 are endemic species or subspecies to Madeira, and 1 species is endemic to Macaronesia region (underlined on the list below).




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