Purple Emperor Facts
Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Most widely used name for this species
The name of the animal in science
The place where something is found
|Britain and Europe|
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|6.2cm - 7.4cm (2.4in - 2.9in)|
|Number Of Species:|
The total number of recorded species
The average time the animal lives for
|1 - 6 months|
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Purple, Blue, Brown, Black, White, Orange, Yellow|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Larvae, Sap, Dung|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Bats, Frogs, Birds|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Long, curled tongue and brightly coloured wings|
Purple Emperor Location
Map of Europe
The purple emperor is a distinctive species of butterfly, found in woodlands across Europe. The purple emperor is most well known for the bright blue-purple markings of the wings of the male purple emperor butterflies.
The purple emperor is most commonly found throughout central Europe and in the warmer, southern regions of the United Kingdom. The purple emperor is found inhabiting ancient forests and deciduous woodlands where the adult purple emperors spend most of their lives hidden high up in the trees.
Despite the name, it is only the male purple emperor butterflies that are actually of a purple looking colour. The females purple emperors are much duller in appearance with a generally brown wingspan, a few white markings and a small orange circle on each of its hind wings (the males are very similar only with the added purple sheen).
Female purple emperors spend most of their lives in the tree canopy coming down only to lay their eggs. Male purple emperor butterflies also spend much of their time in the tree tops, defending their territory from rivals, though they will sometimes descend in order to drink from puddles or feed.
Unlike most butterflies, the purple emperor does not feed from flowers but instead on the honeydew secreted by aphids and on dung, urine and animal carcasses, as well as the sap from oak trees.
Eggs are laid by the female purple emperors in late summer on the upper side of leaves, which the purple emperor caterpillars hatch out of. The purple emperor caterpillars are green with white and yellow markings and have two large horns, and soon undergo the incredible transformation from young to caterpillar to adult butterfly.
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First Published: 12th July 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
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4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 12 Jul 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 12 Jul 2010]