In Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull (VC38), the Nymphalidae family is represented by sixteen (16) species. They are often referred to as the 'brush-foots' because of the non-functional pair of front legs which are reduced in size and covered with hair-like scales. These forelegs are often tucked under the body of the butterfly. The caterpillars tend to be covered in spines or have other protrusions such as horns on the head or tail. The pupae are angular in shape and are jewel like in appearance with shiny metallic gold or silver spots.
An exception to the above rules are members of the sub-family Satyrinae (The Browns and Ringlets), whose caterpillars feed on grasses. The caterpillars also have pointed projections at the end of the body. It should be noted that the Marbled White despite its appearance is a member of this sub-family, its behaviour and life-cycle being similar to other Browns.
The family is split into five sub families. Apaturinae, Heliconiinae, Limenitinae, Nymphalinae andSatyrinae.
More information about their status is available by clicking on the species photos below.