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The playful flutterers: butterflies

Biodiverse grasslands are particularly important for insects. Playful butterflies flutter about and are especially noticeable on our meadow in the Krebsbachtal. With their wonderful flight and beautiful wing patterns they can breathe life into any grassland.

Food plants important for survival

Each type of butterfly poses different demands on its environment. Only when these are suitably met can they survive. One of the most important conditions for the existence and spread of these primarily herbivorous butterflies is having a sufficient amount of food plants, the same of course being true for moths and caterpillars. While some species can nourish themselves on different food plants spread over a wide area, many species rely on only a few or even a single type of plant for food. This means they are therefore also fairly restricted in their propagation.

Ants "adopt" caterpillars

An example of this is the scarce large blue or the dusky large blue. Its nuptial flight and the subsequent laying of eggs takes place in the short period of time when the great burnet is in full bloom. The caterpillars emerge from the eggs and rely on being "adopted" by certain types of ant, which allows them to survive the cold winter within an anthill. Single-crop farming, pesticides and fertilisers have destroyed this finely tuned, barely visible interplay between species in many areas around Germany. This has brought the dusky large blue and its even rarer relative, the scarce large blue, almost to extinction. These butterflies only find the habitats they require in a select few conservation areas such as the Krebsbachtal.

29 diurnal butterflies recorded

The presence of 29 other diurnal butterflies has been recorded in the Krebsbachtal's grasslands, including the small heath, the lesser marbled fritillary, the small copper, the common blue, the meadow brown and the pale clouded yellow among many more. Get involved! Just 5€ will enable you to permanently safeguard land for our environment. Protect land directly for our environmentThe red-backed shrike aka the "butcher" birdLow in nutrients but rich in biodiversity: nutrient-poor grasslandsBasic data: protect biodiverse, nutrient-poor grassland in the Taunus area

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