BackPararge xiphia (Fabricius, 1775)

Pararge xiphia (Fabricius, 1775)

Madeiran Speckled Wood (English)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Nymphalidae
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 extent of occurence (EOO) is less than 5000 km² and the species is declining. The number of locations is one, as the threat of competition occurs on the whole island. The Madeiran Speckled Wood is therefore classified as Endangered at the global, European and the EU27 level.

Geographic Range:

This species is restricted to the island of Madeira. This is a European endemic species.

Portugal - Madeira
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
5000 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
4 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
Elevation Upper Limit:
Biogeographic Realms:
Endemic Madeira


This is a local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas. Declines in distribution or population size of 6-30% have been reported (data provided by the national partners of Butterfly Conservation Europe).

Habitat and Ecology

The Madeiran Speckled Wood is a typical woodland butterfly. It can be found throughout the year in laurel and chestnut forests. The caterpillars' foodplants are grasses such as the false-brome Brachypodium sylvaticumHolcus lanatus and Agrostis gigantea. This species produces several generations a year. In summer, the number of butterflies sometimes decreases for a while (Tolman & Lewington 2008). Habitats: broad-leaved evergreen woodland (100%)

Major Threat(s):

This is a European endemic with a restricted range. Although habitat is still abundant on Madeira, the Madeiran Speckled Wood is apparently gradually being replaced by Pararge aegeria, a widespread species in Europe. Pararge aegeria colonized the island in the 1970s and is still expanding its range

Conservation Actions

More research is needed on the distribution and ecology of the species and the interactions between P. xiphia and P. aegeria. The trend of both species should be monitored by Butterfly Monitoring Schemes