Gonepteryx cleopatra, Crete - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Gonepteryx cleopatra, Crete - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Gonepteryx cleopatra


Gonepteryx cleopatra is a butterfly of the family Pieridae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Gonepteryx cleopatra (Linnaeus, 1767)

Common name


Family: Pieridae > Subfamily: Coliadinae >  Genus: Gonepteryx


Male to female: 55-60 mm


It is a sexually dimorphic species. The butterflies are yellow-colored; males have yellow wings with additional orange-red covering most of the upperside forewing. Females have light yellow or greenish wings.

Both sexes have a forewing apical hook and brown dots in the center of each wing.

Populations in Crete have a slightly different appearance in comparison to the rest area of Greece.


The butterfly never rests with wings open. The greenish color, the shape, and the pronounced venation on the hindwings give this butterfly a good camouflage, making it resemble just leaves.


Gonepteryx cleopatra in Crete can be found in fields, dry woods, mountains, clearings, gardens, and seasides.

Food plant

The larva feeds on Rhamnaceae (Rhamnus) plants.

Flight Period

The butterfly flies in one generation per year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Both males and females are medium-large butterflies. The butterfly has a unique appearance in Crete and can’t be confused with other butterflies of the island.


Least Concern (LC)

(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)

Gonepteryx Cleopatra Distribution Map

*based on http://www.pamperis.gr/THE_BUTTERFLIES_OF_GREECE/MAPS.html

Gonepteryx cleopatra location map based on greek butterflies distributions maps by L.N. Pamperis (revised 2021)