Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies
British Butterflies: Species: Species Account - The Camberwell Beauty:
Camberwell Beauty
Nymphalis antiopa (Linnaeus, 1758)

Camberwell Beauty egg.
ova
  Camberwell Beauty caterpillar.
larva
  Camberwell Beauty chrysalis
pupa
Camberwell Beauty
View a different species

View a different family
Nomenclature
Insecta: Lepidoptera : Family Nymphalidae: Subfamily Nymphalinae : Genus Nymphalis: Species antiopa:
Description
The Camberwell Beauty is named after its first ever reported sighting in Britain in 1748 near Camberwell in south-east London. It does not breed here and there is no evidence for a native breeding population. Most sightings are as migrants from mainland Europe.

It is a large striking, magnificent butterfly which in North America is known and the 'Mourning Cloak'. It has also been named as the Willow Beauty and White Petticoat in Britain. It is rarely seen in large numbers even on mainland Europe and sightings are normally brief as the butterfly is a strong flyer and tends to spend much of its life in the tree canopy. It is able to disperse over large areas, often being seen well away from its normal habitat.

When the butterflies emerge during early summer they have a rich deep maroon upperside with rich creamy yellow borders to the edges of the wings. These butterflies hibernate in mid summer until the following spring when they breed and produce the next summer brood. As a result of their long hibernation, the creamy borders of these spring butterflies fade to white and their wings or often very tatty. The undersides of their wings are dark brown, and similar in appearance to the undersides of the
Peacock.
Habitat
The Camberwell Beauty is generally found in woodland habitats in mainland Europe but it is also known to breed in a range of other habitats where conditions allow. These include river valleys sand dunes parks, and gardens.
Distribution
The Camberwell Beauty is a butterfly rarely seen in Britain. It sometimes occurs in good numbers (maybe 100 sightings) every few years normally during late summer when weather conditions make it possible for this butterfly to migrate from Scandinavia across the North Sea. They tend to be seen most often in gardens nectaring on buddleias.

It should be noted that there are many breeders in the UK who either accidentally or purposely release Camberwell Beauty's into our countryside. All sightings should be reported to
Butterfly Conservation immediately so that the sighting can be confirmed as part of a natural migration event or artificial release.

Recent major migration events to the UK occurred in 1995 (over 500 butterflies seen), 2002 (over 25 records) and 2006 (over 100 records). The vast majority of the sightings are from the East coast of England.
Where to see the Camberwell Beauty in the British Isles
The Camberwell Beauty is a butterfly rarely seen in Britain. It sometimes occurs in good numbers (maybe 100 sightings) every few years normally during late summer when weather conditions make it possible for this butterfly to migrate from Scandinavia across the North Sea. They tend to be seen most often in gardens nectaring on buddleias.

It should be noted that there are many breeders in the UK who either accidentally or purposely release Camberwell Beauty's into our countryside. All sightings should be reported to
Butterfly Conservation immediately so that the sighting can be confirmed as part of a natural migration event or artificial release.

Recent major migration events to the UK occurred in 1995 (over 500 butterflies seen), 2002 (over 25 records) and 2006 (over 100 records). The vast majority of the sightings are from the East coast of England.
Other notes
Reported sightings of the Camberwell Beauty in Britain during 2007:
02-09-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen in Radwinter near Saffrom Walden (Grid ref:TL606373) by Clarissa Cochran.

29-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen in Radwinter near Saffrom Walden (Grid ref:TL606373) by Clarissa Cochran.

29-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen in Friston Forest near West Dean Sussex by David Burrows.

28-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen in Langenhoe S Colchester, Essex and in Braiswick, NW Colchester, Essex. Could these be the result of local releases?

28-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen by Quentin & Honor Phillipps in a garden in Ealing, West London, feeding on buddleia.

27-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen in Stevenage.

27-08-07 - Two Camberwell Beauties seen and photographed in a garden in Thundersley, Essex feeding on Rotting Plums.

27-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen and photographed in a garden on Fuschia in Odsey, south Cambridgeshire by Miss Barbara Needham.

26-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen in Great Totham, Essex (between Maldon & Tiptree) feeding on Buddleia davidii.

26-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen near High Easter, NW of Chelmsford, Essex feeding on over-ripe Greengages by Ken Hoy.

25-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen in Great Totham between Maldon & Tiptree (Grid ref:TL854115) by Bob and Debbie Graves.

24-08-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen and photographed in Hardwick, near Cambridge by Trevor Sawyer.

14-07-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen in a garden in Eastbourne, Sussex.

15-04-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen at Colchester Cemetery, Colchester, Essex (Grid Ref: TM001235).

14-04-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen at Dufftown, nr. Elgin, Moray.

06-04-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen in at Bird Observatory Garden, Portland, Dorset.

31-03-07 - Camberwell Beauty seen at Station Road, Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire (Grid Ref: TL544573).

Reported sightings of the Camberwell Beauty in Britain during 2006:
04-09-06 - Camberwell Beauty seen at Kingskerswell, Devon by Phil Wood.

24-08-06 - Camberwell Beauty seen in Charminster, NW of Dorchester, Dorset.
Lifecycle chart
------------
 
Flight chart
JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
The lifecycle and flight charts should be regarded as approximate guides to the Camberwell Beauty in Britain. Specific lifecycle states, adult emergence and peak flight times vary from year to year due to variations in weather conditions.
IUCN category status 2010 5   IUCN category status 2007 34
--awaiting data-- --awaiting data--

5Fox, R., Warren, M., Brereton, T. M., Roy, D. B. & Robinson, A.
(2010) A new Red List of British Butterflies. Insect Conservation and Diversity.
Not Applicable Not Applicable

3Fox, R., Warren, M & Brereton, T.
(2007) New Red List of British Butterflies. Butterfly Conservation, Wareham.

4More information about IUCN categories.
Wingspan
60-65mm
UK status
Rare Migrant
Larval foodplants
A range of tree species is used as the larval foodplant including Willows (Salix spp) Elms (Ulmus spp) and Poplars (Populus spp).
Butterflies of Britain ID Chart
Your personal guide to British Butterflies. This 8-panel laminated chart is designed for speedy butterfly identification in the field. Ideal for anyone interested in identifying butterflies, perfect for children and adults and ideal for outdoor use, laminated, shower-proof and robust. Get your copy today.
Butterflies of Britain (Laminated ID Chart).
Online store
Visit our online store for many more butterfly related books and gifts.
Population trends 1
UK Population trend 1995-2004 not applicable
UK Population trend 1976-2004 not applicable

1Fox, R., Asher. J., Brereton. T., Roy, D & Warren, M. (2006) The State of Butterflies in Britain & Ireland, Pices, Oxford.
UK BAP status 2
UK BAP status not applicable (link)

2For information about the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, visit the JNCC web site jncc.defra.gov.uk.

National Biodiversity Network Gateway
National Biodiversity Network Gateway Distribution Map



Areas in and indicate a contraction in distribution of the Camberwell Beauty except in Ireland where data is only available up until 1999.

* Records shown in outside the natural distribution may be the result of illegal or accidental releases by breeders or, depending upon the species, migrant individuals from mainland Europe.

Key to map*
= 2000 to 2010 inclusive (current distribution)
= records from 1950 to 1999 inclusive
= records from 1900 to 1949 inclusive
Records prior to 1st January 1900 are not shown.

The NBN Gateway records are shown on the map right. (See terms and conditions).

More data is available on the Camberwell Beauty on the NBN Gateway web site.
Powered by NBN Gateway.
References
For full details of books and reports mentioned on this web site, view the references page.

Find out more online*
Camberwell Beauty can be found on Peter Eeles excellent UK Butterflies web site.
Camberwell Beauty can be found on Matt Rowlings excellent European Butterflies web site.

  Show your support for this site
Every penny helps. From web site hosting to its continued development as a free resource for all, we need money to cover these ongoing costs.

Can you help towards the running costs of www.britishbutterflies.co.uk?

Photographs of the Camberwell Beauty
There are 0 photographs of the Camberwell Beauty in our stock photo library.