BackGonepteryx cleobule (Hübner, 1825)

Gonepteryx cleobule (Hübner, 1825)

Canary Brimstone

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Pieridae
VU Vulnerable
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Spain - Canaries


van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J.

Lewis, O. (Butterfly RLA) & Cuttelod, A. (IUCN Red List Unit)


Facilitators / Compilers/s:

Assessment Rationale:

The extent of occurrence (EOO) of this endemic butterfly is less than 5,000 km² (but larger than 100 km²), the number of locations is fewer than ten and it has a continuing decline. Therefore it is classified as Vulnerable at the global, European and the EU27 level.

Geographic Range:

The Canary Brimstone occurs in the Canary Islands at elevations between 1,000-1,500 m, sometimes up to 2,000 m. In winter it also occurs at lower elevations. This is a European endemic species.

Spain - Canaries
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
Elevation Lower Limit:
Elevation Upper Limit:
Biogeographic Realms:
Endemic Canaries


This is a local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas. Population declines have been estimated at 10%.

Habitat and Ecology

This butterfly can be seen in laurel forests on the north sides of the mountains, but also in other types of forests; they are very mobile and can be seen far away from their reproduction sites. The caterpillars feed on Rhamnus glandulosa and R. crenulata. It is not known how many generations a year are on the wing. Detailed habitat descriptions are not available.

Major Threat(s):

This is a European endemic with a restricted range. The survival of the species is bound to its habitat, the laurel forest, which is still threatened although a part is legally protected. The main threats for laurel forests on the Canary Islands are tourist resorts and illegal building destroying part of the habitats, especially alongside roads or near settlements. Fires are another significant threat. Accidentally and intentionally set for livestock grazing, crop planting, timber and real estate speculation are also impacting the laurel forest.

Conservation Actions

This species occurs in a number of protected areas across its range. Since it has a restricted global range, its distribution and trend should be monitored closely, for example by a Butterfly Monitoring Scheme.