The island of Menorca overflows with plant and animal life – so much so that in 1995 it was declared a biosphere reserve, a special designation that protects and conserves areas with outstanding natural biodiversity. When you stay in a villa in Menorca, you’ll probably see a lot of species you’ve never seen before, whether they’re flying through the air or crawling along the beach. |
A Colourful Surprise
The most eye-catching of Menorca’s natural treasures is the large and diverse population of butterflies. You might catch a glimpse of colourful wings while on a hike through the gorges on Menorca’s south coast, or you might happen upon a specimen resting peacefully in the back garden of your villa in Menorca.
Menorca is home to over 25 species of butterfly. If you’re visiting Menorca in spring, summer, or even early autumn, you should have the chance to observe these winged beauties. Keep an eye out for some of these striking specimens during your stay in Menorca:
Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) – The swallowtail is relatively easy to spot, given its bright canary-yellow wings veined with black. The hind wings, which are edged with a blue band ending in a red spot, taper to long protruding “tails”, which give the butterfly its name. Females tend to lay their eggs on fennel and rue, so if you see either of those plants in the garden of your villa in Menorca, it won’t be long before a swallowtail comes along.
Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) – Another common sight is the Cleopatra, a medium-sized butterfly that prefers open woodland and scrub. Males are bright yellow with orange patches on the upper wings, while the females have pale yellow-green wings, and are easy to mistake for leaves. Due to Menorca’s hospitable climate, this little creature flies nearly all year round.
Large white (Pieris brassicae) – Often called the ‘cabbage butterfly’ due to its habit for laying eyes on cabbages or other agricultural crops, the Large white is common throughout Europe and Northern Africa. It is most often seen in cultivated fields and in any settled area where humans are present – and that includes your villa in Menorca!
Green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) – You’ll have to arrive in spring to see this beauty, as the Green hairstreak is one of Menorca’s earliest fliers. Its iridescent emerald wings make it impossible to mistake. With its variable diet and habitat, you might find a green hairstreak anywhere from a woodland clearing to your very own garden.
Menorca’s thriving butterfly population is one of its greatest treasures. Make sure to bring along your camera when you go outside in Menorca – you just might catch one of these beautiful specimens fluttering by, or basking in the Balearic sun.
Brenda Jaaback, Managing Director of Bartle Holidays, is a renowned Menorca expert. From its history to its people and from its wildlife to its cuisine - no secret of the island remains hidden to her. Personally selecting the finest properties for her clients, Brenda is the go-to person for anyone looking for a villa in Menorca for a relaxing holiday. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.
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