The cowfinch is a butterfly in the Netherlands and Belgium
A butterfly with brown colored wings with dark circles on the wings, the eye circles. Eye circles as black circles with a white point and a white frame. It is the butterfly, the cow check. Does the butterfly have a relationship with a cow? Or with a tick? The naming of the cow check has nothing to do with a cow or a finch, but there is a reason for the naming.
- The naming convention for the cow check
- Butterfly in cow
- Appearance of a cow check
The naming convention for the cow check
We can see the cow check flying in the middle of summer. Warm and hot and the cow check likes to seek shade, unlike most butterflies that we only see fluttering in the sun. In the middle of summer, the cows also like to find shady spots when they graze outside.
Butterfly in cow
The cow tick was therefore often seen in shaded places where cows also stood. In the past, a large number of butterflies were also designated with finches, before they were given the name as we know it today. And that’s how this butterfly got its name: cowfinch.
Appearance of a cow check
The cowfinch (Aphantopus hyperantus) is a butterfly and belongs to the family of the Nymphalidae (aurelias), which also includes the sandy eyes. The appearance of the cow check is dark. The top of the veined wings is brownish to black. Just emerged, the male moth appears to have more black wings than brownish ones, but they slowly become more brownish. The female has three eye spots on the top of the forewings and in the male there are two or one (vague) eye spot (s) and they may also be completely missing. The wing margins are white eyed. The undersides of the wings are a lighter brown with 5 yellow-rimmed eye spots, on both the male and the female.
The female cowfinch has a slightly golden brown pollination. The yellow circles around the female’s eye spots can sometimes still be slightly visible on the top of the wings. The wingspan of the wings is 35-42 millimeters.
The cowfinch is a common butterfly and occurs in the Netherlands on the sandy soils in the east and in the dunes of South Holland and South Kennemerland. Along forest edges with shrubs, semi-natural grasslands, forest paths, sandy paths with hedgerows and hedges, open spaces in the forest and flowery dikes along major rivers. There where the host plants represent the eggs of the cow check.
The host plants on which the female cow finch deposits her eggs are:
- timothy grass;
- large foxtail;
- pipe straw;
- crop ear;
- say (for example rough sedge or blue sedge).
The cowfinch hibernates in the third caterpillar stage, at the base of a host plant in a thin silk silk. In mild weather in winter, the caterpillars also eat in winter. The overwintering caterpillar can be a caterpillar for eleven months before pupation is completed to become a butterfly. From mid-June to mid-August (with a peak in July) we can see the cow finches flying again. Even in bad weather, the cow finches fly.
The butterfly only has a flight time of two weeks. The males make many patrol flights, often following forest paths or forest edges in search of females. The females spend a lot of time looking for nectar. Nectar of blackberry, royal herb and field thistle. The eggs are deposited in the air and fall into the grass. We can see the gray-brown, short-haired caterpillars around August. They forage for food at night and rest at the base of the host plant during the day. The cow check flies one generation.
- The cow check only opens its wings in cool, but sunny weather to warm itself up.
- Cow ticks can also be seen when the weather is not so good. They continue flying on cloudy days and even during light drizzle.