As an ambassador for endangered butterflies, the Easter Luzei butterfly promotes their protection and the preservation of colorful flower meadows. It only occurs in some parts of Austria - on the little-used edges of vineyards, in ditches, on river banks and in alluvial forests.
The yellowish moth, which is up to 55 mm in size, has many characteristic black bands and spikes. It hatches in spring and flies from late March to late June. It sticks its flat, rounded, yellowish eggs in groups to the underside of the leaves of its only host plant, the Easter Luzei. After about a week, the caterpillar hatches, which is initially black and later reddish-yellow. It lives on the forage plant in spring and pupates after four to five weeks into a slender, yellowish-grey belted pupa that overwinters. The Easter Luzei is an old medicinal plant, and the Easter Luzei butterfly has adapted perfectly to its defense strategy using toxins. The caterpillars tolerate the toxins very well and protect the animal from predators. However, poisoning of humans with the plant is hardly to be feared and is also not known.
danger and protection
The Easter Luze is very sensitive to large-scale climatic changes. Especially cold relapses in April and May decimate its population. However, humans are responsible for the rapid decline in the last 25 years: With the beginning use of pesticides and herbicides, the Easter Luzei populations, especially in the vineyards, were all but wiped out. Due to intensive management, the Easter Luzei butterfly has lost many of its former habitats and can only survive in climatically favorable places. The destruction of plant stocks through construction, but also large-scale mowing at the wrong time often causes the butterfly to disappear. In addition, the Easter Luzei plant is being pushed out by more competitive neophytes, such as the giant goldenrod. In order to maintain viable stocks, associations, scientists and private individuals have repeatedly tried to plant the Easter Luzei. Unfortunately, in most cases it has not been possible to obtain a sufficiently large stock of the plants.
On the Rinderberg there is another area where the Easter Luzei grows and therefore the moth can also be found.
The Easter Luzei butterflies provide offspring.