The Elizabethan butterfly (Isabellae Actias) is a species of moth (nocturnal butterfly) and one of the most beautiful and colorful of European butterflies. It was discovered in 1848 by the naturalist Mariano Paz Graells, thereafter it was baptized with its name as a tribute to Elizabeth II of Spain. Endemic of the Iberian Peninsula we can find it in most Eastern Pyrenees (Catalonia). Although it can also be find in the West (Aragon and Navarra), in Ports de Tortosa, and few in Beceite, and in Southern Spain (Teruel, Cuenca, Guadalajara and Castellon) According to specialists they have used Spanish specimen to repopulate.
In Vallfogona de Ripollès we feel privileged to welcome their exceptional presence. Although we have to say they are not always easily spotted. They measure between 45 and 65 mm. Their beauty lies in their spectacular deep green color, crisscrossed by reddish stripes. In the four wings they have spots of different colors, and the hind wings of both sexes have striking tails which gives them a very elegant way of flying.
They are Monovoltina butterflies, which means that they breed once a year. They fly overnight mainly in the months May and June, after fertilization the female lays eggs singly, one by one or in twos, in twigs and pine needles which will feed their caterpillars in a future. These develop during the months of June, July and August, after they fall to the ground to pupate in leaf litter and moss. Unfortunately the caterpillars have suffered high mortality due to spraying against the scourge of another lepidopteran, the procession pine caterpillar, although there is growing awareness of the need for its protection. Legally it is in the National Catalogue of Endangered Species of Spain where it is classified as ‘of special interest’ dated 24 March 2000. It is also protected by the Berne Convention 1979, changed in Strasbourg in 1986 (Annex III), the Habitat Directive (Annex II), and the Law 2/1991 of the Community of Madrid (Decree 18/1992)
When we thought about the logo of our accommodation, we wanted to include the image of the butterfly to show its precious uniqueness. The subtle butterfly of our logo is thanks to the courtesy of Delphine Labedan, our graphic artist, whose works and illustrations emanate a sensitivity and beauty that captivated us.