4. The Geranium Bronze

Sadly, we don't have many species of butterflies in Malta, and the on-going chemical pesticide war doesn't help. But very recently the Malta list did increase by one: the Geranium Bronze. Nothing large or showy - it's mostly dark brown and would struggle to cover a 1c coin - but the little newcomer has certainly not been idle. From a single sighting in San Gwann in June last year, the butterfly has spread like there's no tomorrow, and has been spotted regularly and in many parts of the country. The Geranium Bronze (M: Farfett tas-Sardinell) is not a Mediterranean species, nor even European: it originates in South Africa. However this was no grand feat of migration, but most probably came in as eggs attached to leaves of domestic garden plants imported from Europe. And its favoured foodplant? Well, no prizes for guessing that one!  

Text Victor Falzon, picture Desirée Falzon. Copyright to Birdlife Malta.

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