Learn about Estonian butterflies

 Estonian Butterflies & Dragonflies

Despite its small surface area Estonia has a enormous amount of different butterfly, moth and also dragonfly species. Thanks to our untouched nature we have places that have been completely intact for more than 50 years.

These areas are the favourite places for Estonian butterflies. Every year also new butterflie species are discovered in Estonia. A large number of flowery meadows, natural forests and massive bog areas are the habitats for dragonflies and butterflies.

Thanks to having such favourable habitats for butterflies and dragonflies we have different species that are very rare in the rest of Europe e.g. Clouded Apollo, Moor-land Clouded Yellow,  Large Copper, Siberian Winter Damsel and Lilypad Whiteface in addition also dragonflies like Bog Hawker and Arctic Bluet, ’Whiteface’ dragonflies such as Ruby, Yellow-spotted and Dark Whitefaces as well as the coastal Baltic Hawker, etc.

Estonia is situated in quite a curious place. Species of animals travel here both from the east and south, but they often halt at the western or northern border, since they cannot go over the sea to Finland or Sweden. For instance, the population and range of the Clouded Apollo have increased in the past few years, which is an exceptional phenomenon in the entire Europe.

In Estonia you can find about 900 large butterfly species, over 1000 small butterfly species and more than 50 kinds of dragonflies.

The first Estonian butterflies become active already in March and April, e.g. Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell  and Cam-berwell Beauty.

The species are most active in summer. In June and August such species are active like Swallowtail also Purple and Lesser Purple Emperors, Chestnut Heath, Scarce Fritillary  and Northern Wall Brown.

August is the best time to meet Estonian dragonflies like Hawkers, Whitefaces and stunning Brilliant and Northern Emeralds, Sedgling damselfies or Dark Bluets. Several rare dragonfly species can be found in Estonia until late October if the weather is suitable. Moths can be trapping till November if weather is suitable.