Butterfly ?? Small fox on Ameland
The colorful little fox flies in abundance in the Netherlands. It can be seen in all regions of the country. The little fox also flies to the Wadden Islands. You can see it fluttering heartily in the gardens, on the butterfly bushes and other garden flora on Ameland. A small fox is easy to spot, even a novice butterfly lover will know it in no time. It is one of the many butterfly species that occurs on the Wadden Island.
Beauty from the Aurelia family
- Small fox
- Life cycle
- Flight time
The little fox (Aglais urticae) is a close relative of the dune fritillary butterfly. They belong to the aurelias. The small fox resembles the large fox, which, as its name implies, is one stroke larger. It’s a butterfly.
The little fox has a front wing length of 22-25 mm. The top of the front wing is beautifully colored. Main color is reddish brown to orange with blue moon spots in a row along the trailing edge. The leading edge of the forewing has a row of black and light spots and in the midfield of the forewing are three black spots. The bright colors scare off his enemies.
The butterfly deposits the eggs in groups of 40 to 100 on the underside of the leaves of the host plant, the stinging nettle. The eggs are small green balls. After six to ten days, the caterpillars hatch from the eggs. We see the caterpillar from the beginning of May to the end of September. Young caterpillars live in silk nests, which we can easily find on the large dead nettle. Adult caterpillars live alone and forage without shelter. They are gray with yellow, sometimes bright yellow, markings. After 13 to 22 days, the caterpillars pupate. The doll does not have a fixed color, it can be green and discolor to brown or gold. The metamorphosis follows after 8 to 12 days. The species hibernates as a butterfly in cool and moist places in trees and sheds. After hibernation, reproduction follows.
The little fox is a very common butterfly. We can find him all over the country.
The species likes places where enough nectar can be found. We see them in Ameland gardens, forest edges, thickets, on dikes and on roadsides. They feed on nectar from various plants. The butterfly attaches to a territory, which the male occupies from noon. The little fox is found throughout Europe and far beyond as far as Siberia and North America. It flies from sea level to 3000 meters.
The little fox flies in two overlapping generations from spring to October. The first generation flies from the end of June, the second generation from the beginning of August. The butterflies love to roam and they can travel 150 kilometers. Sometimes there is even a butterfly migration.
This butterfly can be seen one year earlier on Ameland than the other and the fluctuations are also large during the year. The weather has a major influence on this. For example, in 2012 he flew there very early. In March it was one of the first butterfly species to be seen on the island. These were first generation units. It was remarkable that in the months of May, June and July of 2012 the little fox was completely missing.
Wadden Sea crossing
In the second week of August of the same year (very late because of the bad weather in the first part of the summer) foxes were again spotted on Ameland, first a few and then many, many.
In the third week of August 2012, it was bursting with little foxes; sometimes in dune flower groups you saw 20 to 30 at a time and you also encountered them very often on butterfly bushes in the villages.
Apparently many foxes crossed the Wadden Sea and that was very nice to see on the dike. There the butterflies arrived and rested for a while. There are also native Ameland foxes that grow on the nettles.