Lepidoptera. Insects Arthropods. Invertebrates. Animal Kingdom. Wildlife. Fauna. Zoology. Fauna. Nature of Aragon Spain.

Lepidoptera. Insects Arthropods. Invertebrates. Animal Kingdom. Wildlife. Fauna. Zoology.

Nature of Aragon > Fauna

Within the extraordinary variety of Aragonese insects, the most colorful and well-known are the diurnal butterflies (Order Lepidoptera, suborder Ropalóceros), I will simply describe some of the most typical species and their importance.

Butterfly in motion 1 Butterfly in motion 2 Butterfly in motion 3 Butterfly in motion 4


Like most insects, adult butterflies have the following characteristics:


All diurnal butterflies have a similar life cycle in the main aspects:
the female butterfly, immediately after fertilization will lay several hundred or thousands of eggs on the plant from which the caterpillars will feed.

When they are born they will feed voraciously and after a variable period of growth, they will become chrysalis, which undergo a complex metamorphosis until the adult butterfly breaks its envelope, it goes outside with its wings folded in multiple layers.

By contracting its abdomen, it drives its hemolymph ("blood") through the veins or nerves, causing the wings to unfold.

After this, he takes flight in search of a partner with whom to mate, which can last depending on the species from a few days to several months.

Butterfly in motion 60Butterfly in motion 10

A small classification of the Aragonese diurnal butterflies could be the following:


They are small and inconspicuous butterflies, of muted colors, often brown or gray, like moths. Fast and alternate in flight, their antennae are widely separated from each other, unlike the rest of the diurnal butterflies, and their thorax is robust.


The males are small butterflies often bright blue and the females brown (some species have other colors: green, orange, etc.). On the reverse of the wings, often white, they present multiple points, useful in their identification. Many species are almost identical to each other.

They are generally abundant, and in summer they are found in large groups perched around puddles and on animal droppings.

The larvae of some species have "honey" secreting glands in their abdomen that are of great attraction to certain species of ants, living with the larvae, which in some cases are transported near their ant hills, caring for them during the winter until that chrysalize and feed them with plants or even, later, with the nymphs of the ant. This symbiosis is called myrmecophilia.

In the transition phase between vegetable and carnivorous feeding, cannibalism is not uncommon.


These butterflies are medium in size, some large, their wings are usually shaded or brown in color, varying from black to fawn and beige-yellow.

They often prefer dry areas with little vegetation.


These butterflies are of medium size, some large, and showy colors (often orange alternating with black), their front pair of legs shorter than the other two.


They are medium-sized butterflies with wings that are almost always white or yellow. The family includes for example the well-known and ubiquitous cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae).

In some species, larvae are related to ants just like lychens.


These butterflies are big and showy. Their wings generally have red spots on a yellow or flat background. Very variable in appearance, some have "tails", an extension of the hind wings, such as the machaon butterfly (Papilio machaon).

butterfly Papilio machaon
Butterfly Papilio machaon


Small butterflies, similar in appearance to the lichenids and hesperids. Fawn and brown in color, the males have extraordinarily reduced forelegs.


These medium-sized butterflies with orange and brown wings are related to nymphalids, but are clearly distinguished from them by the prominent tooth on the outer margin of their forewings and by their very long antennae.

Night Butterflies


The Attacidae family (Saturniidae) comprises, without a doubt, the most beautiful nocturnal butterflies in the world. The wings are provided with circular ocelli, sometimes very showy.

One of the most colorful is this Great peacock bass Saturnia pyri photographed in the Province of Huesca.

butterfly of Huesca Saturnia pyri
Butterfly of Huesca Saturnia pyri

Copyright 2002 © Miguel Angel Latorre

A small presentation of the diversity of the insects could be the following:

Proturos They are the most primitive insects.
Without wings or antennae.
Colembolos Sin alas.
A ventral organ allows them to take great leaps.
Tisanuros Tres apendices terminales
Lepisma or silverfish
Dipluros Two terminal appendices.
Ephemeroptera Rudimentary mouthpieces.
Two pairs of wings.
Aquatic larvae with gills.
Plecoptera Incomplete metamorphosis
Odonates Chewing mouth.
Two pairs of large membranous wings.
Aquatic larvae.
Mantoids or mantids Incomplete metamorphosis
Mantis religiosa
Blactereos Mouthpiece masticator
Fasmideos Mouthpiece masticator
Insect stick
Dermapteros Mouth chewing.
Tongue at the end of the abdomen.
Orthotics Mouth chewing.
Two pairs of wings, of which the first protects the second.
Cricket, Lobster
Isopters Mouth chewing.
Social organization similar to that of ants.
Termes or Termites
Hemiptera Superorder that includes heteropteros and homopteros.
Heteropteros Mouthpieces choppers-suctors.
Two pairs of wings, the first one in its anterior part.
Homopteros Mouthpiece picador-suctor.
Two pairs of equal wings, which sometimes are missing.
Cicadas, aphids.
Hymenoptera Mouthpieces chewing or sucking.
Four membranous wings.
Bee, Wasp, Ant
MalophagosChewing mouthpieces.
Without wings.
Places of birds and mammals.
Lice of chickens.
AnoplurosMouth filler-suctora.
Without wings.
Mammals' parts.
Head louse.
NeuropterosChewing mouth.
Four membranous wings with numerous nerviations.
Lion ant.
ColeopteraChewing mouth pieces.
Two pairs of wings, the first very coro form a protective case.
Beetles, Fireflies.
Lepidoptera Mouthpieces transformed into suctor apparatus that is spirally wound.
Two pairs of membranous wings covered with scales.
Butterflies and moths.
Diptera Biting and sucking mouthpieces.
Just a pair of wings.
Fly, Mosquito, Tipula, Tabano

The SEA is realizing a complete Catalog of the Aragonese Entomofauna that has already been partially published, where 190 families have been inventoried with 3012 species.

Other information about fauna in Aragón:

A small list of species in Aragon would be the following:

Vertebrates Invertebrates








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