APOLLO, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green

Butterflies & Moths
Apollo and 10 species of Blue, Mid July

Central Sweden offers a big variety of Scandinavian Butterfly species, several of which have a very restricted distribution range in Europe.
On this trip Poplar Admirals, Apollo, Woodland Brown, Scarce Copper, Friggas–, Heath–, and 12 other species of Fritillaries and 11 species of Blue can be seen!
You will be guided by some of Sweden´s most skilled Butterfly experts, known not only for their expertise, but also their enthusiasm in sharing their knowledge.
A majority of the nights we stay at Sätra Brunn Spa & conference hotel in a rural setting nearby the Black River Valley.
From here we do excursions, trying to spend as much daytime as possible in the field with the butterflies. Lunch is usually taken as a picnic on a charismatic place where we can enjoy butterflies and the scenery as we eat. Some of the days we move up to 2 hours by car/ bus to reach certain sites.
Svartådalen is also a very good birding area and we can count on seeing birds like Black Terns, Common Cranes, White-tailed Eagle and Honey Buzzard.

Day 1
Afternoon arrival to Västerås Airport 14:50
Pick-nick sandwiches and hot/ cold drinks in a forest clearing with plenty of butterflies on the grassy meadows. We might even start off with seeing some ”leking parties” of Silver-studded Blues on the gravel road.
This first afternoon we start with getting aquainted with Svartådalen - the Black River Valley -and its grasslands and wetlands, where we enjoy an afternoon walk to look for Purple-edged Coppers and False Heath Fritillaries. Lesser Marbled– and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary can also be seen.
Check in at hotel.
Dinner and night at Sätra Brunn Spa & conference hotel
If the weather conditions are right we put up a mercury lamp in the hotel garden to attract moths. Plenty of species have been seen in the area.

Day 2
Breakfast at Sätra Brunn 09.00
We spend the day in coniferous forest habitats nearby with small lakes and gravel roads with practically no traffic and lots of flowers and butterflies alongside.
Large and beautiful Poplar Admirals often comes down on the mud puddles on the roads, offering excellent photo opportunities.
Relaxing picknick lunch by a small lake with Black-throated Divers.
A wide variety of Fritillaries can be seen in the same area and we have chance of seeing up to 9 different species, including Heath-, Cranberry –, Small pearl-bordered–, Silverwashed–, High Brown –, Dark Green –, and Lesser Marbled Fritillary.
We continue northwards to boglands in the pineforest-dominated Bergslagen area just north of us, where the target species are Baltic Grayling, Large Heath, Northern Grizzled Skipper, Friggas Fritillary and Moorland Clouded Yellow.
Several of these northern species are on the southern boundary of their distribution here. A day in exploring spirit. These areas are not very well known in terms of butterfly presence, but has a lot of potential, lying on the south border of the distribution range for several northern species.
Dinner and night at Sätra Brunn Spa & conference hotel

Day 3
Breakfast at Sätra Brunn 08.00
09.00 Excursion to the Uppland coastal area (2 hour drive) with the chance of seeing up to 10 species of Blue in one single day. For instance Geranium, Silvery and Northern Brown Argus.
The area holds a very good variety of Scandinavian butterfly species, including Large Grizzled Skipper, Black-veined White, False Heath Frittillary and the chance of Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoths hovering like tiny hummingbirds over the flowers surrounding us.
Picknic lunch in the field.
After a full days ”butterflying” we return to Sätra Brunn for dinner at a decent time.
Maybe a relaxing hour in the hot pool and sauna would appeal as well.
Dinner and night at Sätra Brunn Spa & conference hotel

Day 4
Breakfast at Sätra Brunn 08.00
09.00 Departure for Strängnäs area (2 hour drive) with Large Blue butterflies as target species. We enjoy the picknic lunch at viking grave-fields on a ridge with beautiful views over the countryside and plenty of butterflies, for instance Purple-edged and Scarce Copper and 2-3 species of Burnet Moths.
A bit further south – around the very picturesque smalltown Trosa we find the mainland core area for the impressively large and beautiful Apollo butterflies. We spend the afternoon looking for them and in the process we´ll find locally common Meadow Brown, Silver-spotted Skipper and more.
Dinner and night in Trosa Stadshotel. For once we take the opportunity to take part in some streetlife in this pretty little town by the canal, with wooden houses painted in many colours, every second one of which seem to have a bar, restaurant or open-air café.

Day 5
Breakfast at Trosa hotel 09.00
We spend the first part of the day at excellent site Långmaren in a traditional, Swedish farming landscape and plenty of butterflies including Niobe Fritillary, Scarce Copper and 3 species of Burnett Moths. Apollos might turn up again. This is also the core area for one of Swedens most rare insects – the Rattle Grasshopper (Psophus stridulus). A rather big, black grasshopper with red wings and a drumming display sound(!)
After lunch we continue west towards Östergötland, where we will wonder in a beautiful, open oak tree forest, the habitat of eastern, rare and carismatic Woodland Brown butterflies.
We spend the night at a very special lodge, consisting of beautiful, wooden houses – each individually designed and… handmade(!). They´re all situated in the clearing of an open deciduous forest, and is known by the name of ”the Eremitage”.
Of course we´ll try our mercury lamps here as well.
Dinner and night at the Eremitage.

Day 6
Breakfast at the Eremitage 08.00
We allow ourselves a slow start in these beautiful surroundings. Feel free to enjoy Butterflies and flowers or just take a walk down to the lake and have a swim. This is Swedish right-to-roam-countryside as indigenous and unspoilt as it comes. After this relaxing start, we set off to enjoy the scenic surroundings of Omberg, a ridge overviewing large lake Vättern with plenty of Orchids and Butterflies. After lunch transfer back north towards Svartådalen.
Relaxing free time at the Sätra brunn spa.
Dinner and night at Sätra Brunn spa & conference hotel

Day 7
Breakfast at Sätra Brunn 09.00
This last day we spend around the Black River Valley forests & wetlands to look for any of the species of the area that we might not have seen or would like to see again, like Poplar Admirals, Scarce– and Purple-edged Coppers, Heath– and False Heath Fritillaries.and more.
Lunch at Sätra Brunn
Transfer to Västerås Airport
Departure at 15:15
It is possible to see 60 species of Butterflies on this trip, 11 species of Blue and 13 species of Fritillaries.

Mammals: Although mammals are not in focus on this trip, mammals are often seen on the excursions. Moose, Roe Deer, Red Deer, Red Fox, Field & Mountain Hare, Red Squirrel, to mention but a few. Other animal species that roam in the area, but are rarely seen: Lynx, Wolf, Wild Boar, Beaver, Pine Marten.
NIOBE FRITILLARY, Photo: Bo Söderström
Photo: Bo Söderström
Niobe Fritillary
LARGE BLUE, Photo: Lars Karlsson
Photo: Lars Karlsson
Large Blue
BALTIC GRAYLING, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Baltic Grayling
GARDEN TIGER, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Garden Tiger
Photo: Daniel Green
New Forest Burnet Moth
SILVERY ARGUS, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Silvery Argus
ARRAN BROWN, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Arran Brown
RATTLER, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
POPLAR HAWK MOTH, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Poplar Hawk Moth
Photo: Daniel Green
Large Grizzled Skipper
SCARCE COPPER, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Scarce Copper
BLACK ARCHES, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Black Arches
NORTHERN OAK EGGAR, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Northern Oak Eggar
Photo: Daniel Green
Cranberry Fritillary
Photo: Daniel Green
Moorland Clouded Yellow
Photo: Daniel Green
False Heath Fritillary
NORTHERN BROWN ARGUS, Photo: Bo Söderström
Photo: Bo Söderström
Northern Brown Argus

Species list - pdf
What to bring - pdf
Trip report 2009 - pdf
Moth species list - pdf

Swedish flower list - pdf