Cyprus Butterflies by Eddie John F. L. S., F. R. E. S.

A Guide to the Butterflies of Cyprus,

Cyprus Butterfly Recording Scheme and

Cyprus Butterfly Study Group

Butterflies of Cyprus - PUBLICATIONS

This page lists publications on the butterflies of Cyprus.
The left column lists papers by Eddie John as sole author, principal author or contributing author.



Vane-Wright, R. I. & John, E.
A note on Papilio aegyptius Schreber, 1759, and its synonymy with Danaus chrysippus chrysippus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Danainae). Entomologist’s Gazette (submitted).

John, E. & Vane-Wright, R. I.
Danaus chrysippus chrysippus (Linnaeus, 1758) ff. ‘alcippus’ and ‘alcippoides’ (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Danainae) from Cyprus. Entomologist’s Gazette (submitted).

John, E., Hardman, M. & Smith, M.
How important are olfactory cues for host-plant detection by migrating Danaus chrysippus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Danainae) in Cyprus? Entomologist’s Gazette (submitted).

John, E.,
Basbay, O., Seven, E. & Kaymaz, N. Pontia glauconome (Klug, 1829) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae, Pierinae) in south-eastern Turkey: confirmation of breeding populations, with notes on the biology of early stages and on a species of the larval parasitoid Hyposoter Förster, 1869 (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae, Campopleginae). Entomologist’s Gazette in press.

John, E. & Dennis, R. L. H. 2019. Post-aestivation puddling by female Chazara briseis larnacana (Oberthür, 1909) and Maniola cypricola (Graves, 1928) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Satyrinae): influences and implications. Entomologist’s Gazette 70: in press.

John, E., Thomas, B., Basbay, O., Cebeci, Z., & Coutsis, J. G. 2018. The arrival of Cacyreus marshalli Butler, 1898 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae, Polyommatinae) in Crete, with additional notes on range expansion in Greece and along coastal areas of

northwestern Turkey. Entomologist’s Gazette 69: 85-97.


In recent decades, the introduced lycaenid Cacyreus marshalli has received much attention because of the damage caused to ornamental species of Geranium and Pelargonium following the
species’ rapid spread from Mallorca to many other areas of the Mediterranean and to mainland Europe. Concerns have been expressed that native Geraniaceae and those lepidopteran species using these as hostplants, might be at some risk. In this paper, we demonstrate further range expansion in the eastern Mediterranean countries of Greece and Turkey, note that little if any evidence is available to indicate any threat to native Geraniaceae and, perhaps for the first time, consider that the damage now being caused has fallen to acceptable levels. Taken together, current experience appears to imply that
C. marshalli might soon become regarded as a welcome addition to the Palaearctic fauna.

John, E., Thomas, B., Basbay, O., Cebeci, Z., & Coutsis, J. G. 2018. Cacyreus marshalli Butler, 1898 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae, Polyommatinae): a preliminary note on its appearance in Crete and on range expansion in Greece and coastal areas of northwestern Turkey. Entomologist’s Gazette 69: 18.

John, E., Basbay, O. & Seven, E. 2018. Pontia glauconome Klug, 1829 (Lepidoptera: Pieridae, Pierinae): a preliminary note on the species’ first recorded presence in Turkey. Entomologist’s Gazette 69: 64.

2016: Book chapter:
ohn, E. & Skule, B. 2016. Lepidoptera (pages 269-383). In: Sparrow, D. J. & John, E. (Eds.) An Introduction to the Wildlife of Cyprus. Terra Cypria, Cyprus. 895 pp.


John, E., Sparrow, D. J. & Sparrow, R. 2015. Migration of Lepidoptera In the vicinity of Cyprus, eastern Mediterranean, in April 2014. Entomologist's Gazette 66: 255-262.
Throughout most of April 2014, large numbers of migrant Lepidoptera were observed
across the island of Cyprus. Here, we report briefly on the arrival of first immigrants towards the end of March and on the persistence of a significant migration, specifically of
Vanessa cardui, throughout April. In addition, we comment on the presence of unusually large numbers of migrant moths, particularly of the families Sphingidae and Noctuidae.

John, E., Stefanescu, C., Honey, M. R., Crawford, M. & Taylor, D. 2015. Ceremonial releases of Danaus plexippus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Danainae) in the Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic Islands and Cyprus: implications for biogeography, potential for colonisation and a provisional listing of Asclepiadoideae from these regions. Entomologist’s Gazette 66: 141–156.

Ceremonial releases of the Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus (Linnaeus, 1758), are shown as the probable reason for unexpected sightings of this species in Cyprus and Ibiza. Further enquiries revealed that such releases are not uncommon in Catalonia and elsewhere in Spain. The presence of D. plexippus in southern coastal areas of the Iberian Peninsula has been recognised for decades, but these are the first known reports of this danaine species on the Mediterranean islands of Ibiza and Cyprus. The impact of releases on biogeographical studies of D. plexippus in the Mediterranean and the possibilities for further colonisation are discussed.


John, E., Wiemers, M., Makris, C. & Russell, P. 2013. The Pontia edusa (Fabricius, 1777) / Pontia daplidice (Linnaeus, 1758) complex: confirmation of the presence of Pontia daplidice (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) in Cyprus, and of Cleome iberica DC. as a new host-plant for this species in the Levant. Entomologist’s Gazette 64: 69-78.


Molecular analysis of Pontia specimens from Cyprus has shown incontrovertibly that the species present on the island is Pontia daplidice. Examination of additional Pontia specimens from adjacent mainland countries of the Levant indicates that Cyprus was populated from the south-east or east, not from the north (Turkey). In addition to the previously established use of Cleome iberica by the related Pontia chloridice, the authors report on the first use of this host-plant by P. daplidice in the Levant.

John, E., Makris, C. & Christofides, Y.
Cleome iberica DC.: a new host-plant for Pontia chloridice (Hübner, [1813]) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) in the Levant and its influence on the butterfly’s phenology in Cyprus. Entomologist's Gazette 64: 19-26.


Field observations have confirmed the use of Cleome iberica as a new larval host-plant for the pierid Pontia chloridice. Because of its presence at higher elevations, the authors comment upon the probability of C. iberica influencing (extending) the flight-period of P. chloridice in Cyprus. Cleome iberica is widely distributed in European and Asian countries to the north and north-east of Cyprus, where P. chloridice is also known to occur, indicating that C. iberica is likely to be confirmed as a host-plant for P. chloridice in these regions in the future. We report that Cleome spp. are favoured as host-plants by P. chloridice in Cyprus, to the apparent exclusion of members of the Brassicaceae family used by P. chloridice elsewhere.

John, E. & Tennent, W. J. 2012. Marine (seawater) puddling by butterflies: is the sea an under-utilised sodium resource? Entomologist's Gazette 63: 134-145.
While there are numerous documented records of butterflies ‘mud puddling’ in order to obtain salts and minerals by imbibing liquid from a freshwater source, a lack of published evidence regarding similar exploitation of seawater suggests this is a rarely used sodium resource, or is a behavioural activity infrequently observed or recognised.
As background to introducing new reports of seawater exploitation, we first briefly review papers on puddling in general, noting an almost total absence of references to seawater use. Following a trawl amongst entomological colleagues, further instances of butterflies imbibing seawater are presented, including additional observations by the authors, among them the first known report of marine puddling by the Palaearctic hesperiid
Thymelicus acteon and a second report of direct seawater intake by the tropical papilionid Papilio ulysses. The possible significance of these observations is briefly discussed.

John, E. & Tamson, S. 2011. Predation of an African Grass Blue Zizeeria karsandra (Moore, 1865) by the crab spider Thomisus onustus (Walckenaer, 1805) in Cyprus. Bulletin of the Amateur Entomologists’ Society 70: 224-225.

John, E., Haines, D. H. & Haines, H. M.,
2011. Chazara persephone (Hübner, 1803) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Satyrinae) - has the species retained a secretive presence in Cyprus for one hundred years? Entomologist's Gazette 62: 79-82.
Chazara persephone (Hübner, 1803) has not been reported from Cyprus since the early 1900s, and has never, as far as is known, been observed in the forested areas of the north. The species is present in mainland countries to the north and east of Cyprus, but is not known as an obligate migrant. On the basis of a single, rather indistinct photograph we consider the likelihood of C. persephone having persisted undiscovered on the island for nearly a century.

John, E., Gascoigne-Pees, M. & Larsen, T. B. 2010. Ypthima asterope (Klug, 1832) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Satyrinae): its biogeography, lifecycle, ecology and present status in Cyprus, with additional notes from Rhodes and the eastern Mediterranean. Entomologist's Gazette 61: 1-22.
Little has been written about Ypthima asterope (Klug, 1832) in its eastern Mediterranean range, which extends from the Aegean islands of Samos, Symi and Rhodes in the west to Kastellorizo (= Megisti), Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan in the east.The origin of Y. asterope in the eastern Mediterranean
is discussed and within the constraints of a broadly ecological paper, we comment on the possibility of
Y. asterope asterope not extending further eastwards than the Gulf of Oman. A natural variation in wing morphology led earlier authors to claim the presence of a Mediterranean subspecies: examination of specimens from Cyprus and Rhodes shows no evidence of genitalic differences. Increasingly, tourism poses a potential threat on some Mediterranean islands, although the status of Y. asterope is not yet considered to be at serious risk. Pressure from tourism is a concern on Cyprus in particular, where the stronghold for this species is concentrated in vulnerable coastal areas. A detailed, illustrated account of the lifecycle of Y. asterope is provided and a probable new host-plant, Hyparrhenia hirta (Linnaeus), is introduced.

John, E. & Merit, X. 2008. Chilades galba (LEDERER, 1855) and Aporia crataegi (Linnaeus, 1758): significant contributions to the Cyprus Butterfly Recording Scheme, April / May 2008. Atalanta 39. Band, Heft 1-4: 165-171.

Dennis, R. L. H., Dapporto, L., Shreeve, T. G., John, E., Coutsis, J. G., Kudrna, O., Saarinen, K. & Ryrholm, N. 2008. Butterflies of European islands: the implications of the geography and ecology of rarity and endemicity for conservation. In: Insect Conservation and Islands. New, T. R. (Ed). 2008. Springer, Dordrecht.

John, E., Russell, P., Hall, D. & Christofides, Y.
2008. Notes on the life history, ecology and distribution of Pontia chloridice (Hübner, 1808) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae), and a first record of Hyposoter ebenitor (Aubert, 1972) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) in Cyprus. Entomologist’s Gazette 59: 209-226.

John, E. & Dennis, R. L. H. 2008. Internet resources for identifying geographical coordinates: a brief overview of some of the available websites. Entomologist’s Gazette 59: 175-183.

John, E., Cottle, N., McArthur, A. & Makris, C. 2008. Eastern Mediterranean migrations of the Small White Pieris rapae (Linnaeus,1758) (Lepidoptera:Pieridae): observations from Cyprus 2001 and 2007. Entomologist’s Gazette 59: 71-78.

John, E. 2007. Butterfly Recording in Cyprus. Butterfly (The Magazine of Butterfly Conservation, UK) Issue 96, Autumn 2007.

John, E.
2007. Butterflies of Cyprus: an update to the AES booklet (John 2000) with additional comments on endemism and threatened species, plus changes to the island’s butterfly checklist. Bulletin of the Amateur Entomologists’ Society 66, 140-150.

John, E., Coutsis, J. G. & Makris, C. 2006.

A review of records for Colias erate (Esper, [1805]) (Lep.: Papilionoidea Pieridae) in Cyprus: were they all yellow forms of Colias croceus (Geoffroy, 1785)? Entomologist’s Gazette 57: 3-12.

John, E. 2005. ‘Where to look for Butterflies’, article in MoD’s brochure ‘Searching for Wilderness’, published by the Western Sovereign Base Area, (Akrotiri) Cyprus.

John, E.
2005. Cyprus: a brief overview of its Butterflies and an introduction to the island’s Butterfly Recording Scheme. Antenna, Vol 29:33-37.

John, E. 2004. Butterfly Recording Scheme for Cyprus - a request for records. Entomologist’s Rec. J. var. Vol 116: 262.

John, E. & Parker, R. 2003. The Butterfly Year in Cyprus. Sanctuary, Number 32 (Ministry of Defence Conservation Magazine).

John, E. 2003. Chapter on Cyprus. In: van Swaay, C. & Warren, M. (eds): Prime Butterfly Areas in Europe: 150-151. Council of Europe. Wageningen.

Parker, R. & John, E. 2003. Fight behaviour of the Cyprus Grayling, Hipparchia cypriensis in the Troodos Mountains. Bull. amat. Ent. Soc., Vol. 62, No. 446: 27-30.

Wakeham-Dawson, A., Parker, R., John, E. & Dennis, R. L. H. 2003. Comparison of the male genitalia and androconia of Pseudochazara anthelea acamanthis (Rebel, 1916) from Cyprus, Pseudochazara anthelea anthelea (Hübner, [1924]) from mainland Turkey and Pseudochazara anthelea amalthea (Frivaldsky, 1845) from mainland Greece (Nymphalidae, Satyrinae). Nota lepid. 25 (4), 251-263.


John, E. & Parker, R. 2002. Dispersal of Hipparchia cypriensis (Holik, 1949) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Satyridae) in Cyprus, with notes on its Ecology and Life-history. Entomologist’s Gazette 53: 3-18.

John, E. & Makris, C. 2001. Libythea celtis (Laicharting 1782) (Lepidoptera: Libytheidae): Presence of a Breeding Colony in the Troodos Mountains, Cyprus. Entomologist’s Gazette 52: 173-180.

John, E.
2001. Migration of Vanessa cardui (L.) (Lep.: Nymphalidae) through Cyprus, March 2001. Entomologist’s Rec. J. Var. 113: 269-281.

John, E. 2001. Autumn Butterfly records from Cyprus, 2000. Bull. amat. Ent. Soc., Vol. 60, No. 436: 84-96.

John, E. 2000. Butterflies of Cyprus 1998 (Records of a year’s sightings). Bull. amat. Ent. Soc., Pamphlet No. 15:46 pp.


Bibliography (Cont.)

Books or booklets

Although not a field guide (see News page), the most comprehensive and well-illustrated book is:
Makris, C.
2003. Butterflies of Cyprus, Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Nicosia. (See John et al., 2011; John et al., 2006 for updated an checklist, or check here.)

An old, possibly out of print booklet:
Nature of Cyprus, by Christos Ch. Georgiades, lists 50 of the 53 species of butterfly found on the island but the 14 colour plates are of little assistance in identifying some of the less familiar species present.
Moreover, of the 14 colour plates of butterflies shown in “Nature of Cyprus”, the following are
incorrectly identified:
Page 57 - upper photograph shows the undersides of Painted Lady (
Vanessa cardui), not Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
Page 58 - upper left is Lattice Brown (
Kirinia roxelana) not Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera);
upper right is Lesser Fiery Copper (
Lycaena thersamon) not Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus).

The majority, but not all, on the Cyprus list are illustrated in:
Tolman, T. & Lewington, R. 1997 (or later).
Butterflies of Britain & Europe. 320 pp.

A newer book includes the Cyprus species:
Haahtela, T., Saarinen, K., Ojaleinen, P & Aarnio, H. 2011.
Butterflies of Britain and Europe. 383pp. London.

In high summer, dry stream-beds with Oleander in full flower offer shade for species such as Maniola cypricola and Chazara briseis. © Eddie John