Scarce heath

Coenonympha hero

Scarce heath, photo: Arne Ader

Unlike the similar Coenonympha arcania, their back wings are surrounded with orange, not light yellow, from the underside. Caterpillars feed on different grass and grow up to 2.5 cm long. They prefer to live in damp places. Scarce heaths can be seen from the beginning of June to the middle of July. Protected in Estonia (protection category III). In addition to the scarce heath, two other protected species can be found in Tallinn: the large copper and the woodland brown. Their eggs, caterpillars, chrysalides, and imagoes are an important link in the food chain of ecosystems, as they are food for many invertebrates and vertebrates. The imagoes of butterflies require nectar for survival, making them important pollinators. In Tallinn, they are most common in Astangu, Pääsküla bog, Raku, Liiva, and Merimetsa.