Beautiful Butterflies visit Iceland Skip to content

Beautiful Butterflies visit Iceland

Almost every summer a number of “foreign” butterflies visit Iceland. Because of the beautiful and still summer weather no such visitors were reported until early September this year. Some of these butterflies are thought to come to Iceland with warm air currents, possibly from far away southern countries.

In the Icelandic Institute of Natural History specialists follow this closely and record all information. During the days from September 6 to September 14 ten different species were reported. Most of the information comes from the general public.

The largest butterfly that travels to Iceland is the so-called Convolvulus Hawk-moth, (Agrius convolvuli). The butterfly is found almost every year, but numbers differ. This year reports have come from Gardabær in the Reykjavík area to Hornafjördur in the South-east. Four were seen at Kvísker, close to jökulsárlón.


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The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) often comes earlier than the Hawk-moth. A few have been sighted in the past week, primarily in southern Iceland.


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The European Peacock (Inachis io) or more commonly known as the Peacock butterfly is among the most beautiful. The peacock butterfly does not fly to Iceland but comes with freight, most likely on ships. This beuty was seen in Mosfellsbær, a suburb of Reykjavík.


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Photos: Erling Ólafsson

From the web of the Icelandic Institute of Natural History

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