Strahlend schön

Zitronenfalter

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Er gehört zu den strahlendsten seiner Art: Der Zitronenfalter. Mit etwas Glück ist er in einigen Regionen von Deutschland zu bestimmten Zeiten zu sehen. Er ist ein ganz besonderer Vertreter der Schmetterlinge – aus mehreren Gründen.

Der Zitronenfalter gehört (wie der Große Kohlweißling und der Admiral) zu der Familie der Weisslinge. Der Falter erreicht eine Flügelspannweite von 5 bis 5,5 Zentimetern.

Die Männchen gaben durch die zitronen-gelbe Färbung der Art ihren Namen. Beide Geschlechter haben einen orangen Punkt auf den Flügeln. Die Weibchen sind weiß oder grünlich-weiß. Auf den ersten Blick können sie daher mit dem Großen Kohlweißling verwechselt werden.

Der wissenschaftliche Name des Zitronenfalters lautet Gonepteryx rhamni. Im Namen enthalten ist damit die hauptsächliche Nahrung der Raupen: Sie ernähren sich vom Faulbaum (Rhamnus frangula). 

Der Zitronenfalter – ein besonderer Schmetterling

Meist zwischen Ende Juni und Anfang August schlüpfen die jungen Zitronenfalter. Doch nur wenige Wochen später fallen sie in einen Sommerschlaf. Im Frühherbst sind sie dann wieder zu sehen.

Ein Blatt, ein Grasbüschel oder auch Efeu: Den Winter verbringt der Zitronenfalter als einzige europäische Schmetterlingsart nahezu ungeschützt in der freien Natur. Möglich macht das ein körpereigenes Frostschutzmittel des Schmetterlings. So kann er auch tiefe Minustemperaturen überleben.

Das unterscheidet ihn von anderen Vertretern seiner Art, die als Winterquartier zum Beispiel einen Keller, eine Höhle oder einen Dachstuhl beziehen müssen, um nicht zu erfrieren. Dazu gehört unter anderem das Tagpfauenauge.

Bei der Landung ist bei den meisten Schmetterlingen die Schönheit der Flügel voll zu bewundern. Doch der Zitronenfalter ist hier eine Ausnahme: Er klappt die Flügel nach der Landung sofort zusammen – daher sind die Flügeloberseiten nur mit viel Glück zu sehen. Der Zitronenfalter wärmt sich durch eine seitliche Ausrichtung zur Sonne auf.

Im Sommer bevorzugt der Zitronenfalter als Nahrung rote und violette Blüten. Häufig zu beobachten ist er daher an Blutweiderich oder dem Sommerflieder.

Welchen Schmetterling finden Sie am schönsten?

Ergebnis ansehen

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