BackGonepteryx maderensis Felder, 1862

Gonepteryx maderensis Felder, 1862

Madeiran Brimstone

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Pieridae
EN Endangered
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Madeira


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 survival of the species is bound to the management of its remaining habitat, the laurel forest, which is still threatened although most of it is legally protected. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is less than 500 km², it has fewer than 5 locations and a continuing decline (Van Swaay & Warren, 1999). Therefore classified as Endangered, in the EU27 countries as well as in Europe and globally.

Geographic Range:

The Madeiran Brimstone is restricted to the island of Madeira at elevations between 500-1,500 m. This is a European endemic species.

Portugal - Madeira
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
500 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
Elevation Lower Limit:
500 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
1500 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Endemic Madeira


This is a local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas. This butterfly has low population densities. It is declining on Madeira.

Habitat and Ecology

The Madeiran Brimstone occurs only in the dense primary laurel forest at middle altitudes. The larval foodplant is Rhamnus glandulosa (Rhamnaceae). The number of generations per year is unknown. Habitats: broad-leaved evergreen woodland (50%), mesophile grasslands (50%).

Major Threat(s):

The species is restricted to primary vegetation, susceptible to human interference. The most direct threat comes from habitat loss because of reclamation and change to agricultural land.

Conservation Actions

More research is needed urgently on the distribution and ecology of the species. Suitable habitats should be protected and appropriately managed. The effects of conservation actions should be monitored by a Butterfly Monitoring Scheme.