Madeiran Speckled Wood Pararge xiphia (Fabricius, 1775)

Superfamily: Papilionoidea Family: Nymphalidae Status: Endemic to Madeira


A dark brown, medium-large butterfly with orange spots which may be confused with its European congener, the Speckled Wood. The main differences are its fore-wings’ outer margin which are slightly convex and mostly brown, a distinctive but small white mark on costa on its marbled brown undersides and the two eye-spots on the upperside hind-wing.

Pararge xiphia Caterpillars

Madeiran Speckled Wood caterpillars are longer bodied than its european congeneric, Speckled wood (Gibbs et al, 2004).

Host & Food Plants

The larva feeds on several Gramineae, including Agrostis gigantea, Brachypodium sylvaticum, Holcus lanatus and Festuca donax (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006).

Habitat & behaviour

Can be seen all year round from sea level up to a thousand meters of altitude though is normally associated with Laurel and Chestnut Forest.

Distribution in Atlantic Islands of Macaronesia:

Only occurs in Madeira Island (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006)


Regional status according to Aguiar & Karsholt, 2008: Endemic to Madeira
Regional status according to Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006: Endemic to Madeira
Regional status according to Wakeham-Dawson et al., 2001: Endemic
Status according to the European Red List of Butterflies, 2010: Endangered

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