Name: Purple Emperor
Scientific name: Apatura iris
Nature Stars: 90
About: A large butterfly, black above and rich gingery brown and grey below, with white patches on all wings. The male has glossy purple patches on the upper wings. The wingspan of the female is about 9 cm, males slightly smaller. Adults are on the wing for a short period in late summer. They live in woodland, where the caterpillars feed on sallow leaves.
How to identify: Larger than the more common White Admiral. Seen well, the males are unmistakeable with their purple wings.
Where: Found in woodlands in southern England.
Fantastic fact: Adults spend most of their time high in the canopy, but come down to ground level mid-morning to feed on salts and sugars in damp puddles, on animal droppings or even on rotting carcases.
Photograph credit: Keith Warmington/www.warmies.co.uk