THE BUTTERFLIES OF PIEŠŤANY AND ENVIRONS
Piešťany lies on the Váh River, between the Považský Inovec mountain range and the Small Carpathians. This region is attractive thanks to its natural beauty, both fauna and flora. There is a great variety of butterfly fauna which represents a significant part of the ecosystem. There are relatively well-preserved xerotherm (dry and warm) habitats, meadow and forest communities which are home to endangered, vulnerable, local and rare species from the whole of Slovakia, thanks to the climatic conditions in Piešťany and the nearby Považský Inovec Mountains. The area is rich with notable and interesting butterfly species which deserve our attention and protection.
The Lesser Purple (Apatura ilia)
Widespread forest species. It can be found in and on the outskirts of deciduous forests, and along streams, rivers and forest roads. It has one mating season in June and July, and on rare occasions, a second mating season in August. It is found in Piešťany and the Považský Inovec Mountains.
Chequered Blue (Pseudophilotes vicrama)
Vulnerable, thermophilic species. It can be found on warm, dry, bushy and rocky hillsides. It has two mating seasons: the first in May, and the second in July and August. It can only occasionally be found near dams in Piešťany, but more frequently in the Považský Inovec Mountains.
The Southern Festoon (Zerynthia polyxena)
Exotickly - coloured vulnerable species. It lives on the borders of warm, thin forests, and rivers, vineyards, and railway embankments; it feeds on Birthwort (Aristolochia clematitis). It has one mating season in April and May. It is very rarely found in Piešťany and the Považský Inovec Mountains.
The Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lanthonia)
Widespread species. It lives in dry meadows, on bushy hillsides, along the edges of field roads and in fallow fields. It has two mating seasons: from April to June and from July to September. It is widespread in Piešťany and the Považský Inovec range.
The Large Copper (Lycaena dispar)
Vulnerable, hydrophilous species. It lives in wet meadows, grassy stream banks and moist brook embankments. It has two mating seasons: the first in May and June and the second from July to September. It can be found both in Piešťany and the Považský Inovec Mountains.
Oberthür`s Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus armoricanus)
Local and rare xerotherm species. It lives on warm, sunny hillsides and in meadows. It has two mating seasons: in spring, May and June; and in summer, from July to September. It can be regularly found in Piešťany but in the Považský Inovec Mountains it is rare.
Author of the text and photos: Roman Tibenský