Big Fox ?? rare butterfly in the Netherlands
The big fox is a very rare butterfly. It is listed as critically endangered on the Red List of endangered species. In the Netherlands he is not often seen and if one is observed it is immediately news. The species is seen more often in Belgium. Amelander butterfly connoisseur Theo Kiewiet occasionally sees a specimen in the Cattle Dunes on Ameland and then, if possible, immediately takes a photo of it. The large fox is a butterfly with beautiful colors and a distinctive pattern.
- Butterfly big fox
- Flying time
- Big fox on Ameland
Butterfly big fox
The big fox (Nymphalis polychloros) belongs to the family aurelias (Nymphalidae), just like the small fox and the dune fritillary. The large fox resembles the small fox, has mostly the same colors, but a different size and a different drawing. It’s a butterfly.
The large fox has a front wing length of 27-32 mm. And is therefore considerably larger than the small fox. The top of the front wing has an orange-brown color and along the rear edge of the front wing the blue moon spots are missing, which we see in the little fox. The forewings have a row of large black spots along the edge and four black spots in the center of the forewings. The small fox has only three. Anyone who has never seen a large fox can easily mistake a large fox for a large fox. It is then important to count the black spots on the front wing: three for a small fox and four for a large fox.
The butterfly of the big fox hibernates in a hollow tree, a shed, attic, bunker or in a cave. From the end of April to mid-July we see the caterpillars crawling. The young caterpillars are matted together in nests and the adult caterpillars go out alone. Pupation takes place on a food plant. For the big fox this is elm, sweet cherry and some willow species. One generation flies out each year.
The beautiful large butterfly is mainly found in Central and Southern Europe, North Africa and Central Asia. The big fox is one in the Netherlands rare butterfly, which is not doing so well. The species is even threatened with acute extinction. He is not on the for nothing Red List of endangered species. Only a few specimens per year have been observed in the Netherlands in recent years. It is suspected that these are vagrants who come from abroad. They can also be butterflies from temporary populations.
At the end of the twentieth century, the species had virtually disappeared from the Netherlands. In the first decade of the twenty-first century it is nevertheless seen with some regularity. In 2011 copies were seen in Flevoland. In that year the butterfly was spotted in more places in the Netherlands. In March 2014, reports were made at various locations in the Netherlands from Nijmegen, Enschede, Vlissingen and from Ameland.
The big fox flies from mid-June to early September and can be seen in the sky after wintering, from early March to early June. The big fox is a wanderer, he likes to travel great distances. He searches for tasty snacks that he finds in sap from bleeding trees, rotting fruit and honeydew. The big fox is mainly found in moist open forests, along forest edges and in orchards. It can also be seen in places where large free-standing trees grow.
Big fox on Ameland
The big fox hardly occurs on Ameland. He was spotted once at Ballum and on March 30, 2014, butterfly connoisseur Theo Kiewiet sees one in the Cattle Dunes near Buren. He has the camera with him and captures the beauty. It is the first time that a large fox on Ameland has been photographed, as far as is known and according to the website observes.nl. The butterfly has taken the trouble to traverse all of the Netherlands and cross the Wadden Sea to flutter on the Wadden Island in the Kooi dunes. In 2018, the butterfly was spotted a few more times in that area.