Nettle-tree Butterfly

Libythea celtis (Laicharting, 1782)


Corfu Status: Present EU Red Data Status 2010: Least Concern


A medium sized distinctive butterfly, dark brown with large orange patches, and a small white spot on the forewing costa. The shape of the wings are unique. Members of the genius, which L. celtis is the only member in Europe, are characterised by their very long palpi, seen sticking out the front of their head. 

Habitat Requirements

This butterfly is usually found flying around or near to Nettle Trees. These can be found in rural or urban habitats. CBC member Richard Roebuck discovered a population of the Nettle Tree butterfly on the large Nettle Tree at the bottom of Lochagou Spyrou Vlaikou (near the New Fortress) in Corfu Town.

Larval Foodplants

European Nettle Tree Celtis australis.


This species has one brood a year, and overwinters as an adult. These butterflies adopt individuals Nettle trees, utilising them as the centre of their territories. In April courtship takes place by worn butterflies and ovae are laid. The larvae can be found with either a green or brown colour morph in their final instar. They pupate directly attached to the leves of the tree. Immaculate butterflies can be photographed in May.

Flight Times

Key to Seasons
Spring (Mar, Apr, May) Summer (Jun, Jul, Aug)
Autumn (Sep, Oct, Nov) Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb)

First and Last Sightings

The information provided here is based on verified sightings submitted via this website since January 1st 2021. Data prior to 2021 is from external sources.

Year First Last/latest
2021 29/03/2021 20/10/2021
2019* 21/03/2019 13/04/2019

Years marked * based on external data.

Number of Observations

Number of sighting in 2021 Total number of sightings
37 37


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Nettle-tree Butterfly
  • Family: Nymphalidae (Rafinesque, 1815)
  • Sub-family: Libytheinae (Boisduval, 1833)
  • Genus: Libythea (Fabricius, 1807)
  • Species: celtis (Laicharting, 1782)


For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.