The Syrian Rock-Grayling Butterfly (Hipparchia syriaca) is an insect in the Nympalidae family of brush-footed butterflies.
The Syrian Rock-Grayling is tan, brown, and white, and is well camouflaged on tree bark and rocks. Its upperside is tan with copper, and edged in white, with a few eyespots. Its underside is dark-brown with eyespots. Its body is brown. It is similar to other Graylings, but with a narrower band on its forewing.
It measures 4-5 centimetres (2 inches) in length.
The Grayling is found all over Europe, southern Russia, and the Caucasus. The Syrian Rock-Grayling is found in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedona, the Caucasus, and Transcaucasia.
It prefers the edges of foothills and mountain forests up to 2,000 metres above sea level. It also likes bushy places and pine woods. The adult butterfly is seen from June to August in the Northern Hemisphere.
The male is territorial.
The caterpillar eats leaves, and the adult butterfly sips nectar from flowers.
The adult female lay eggs on the leaves of plants. The eggs hatch into larvae (caterpillars). The larvae pupate by spinning a casing, called a chrysalis, in the ground. The adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis.
Location of photographs: Udabno, Georgia
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM