Beautiful Butterflies of Morocco

You don’t have to be a lepidopterist to appreciate the intricate beauty of butterflies. While images of these delicate creatures adorn the bedrooms of little girls, it is only when you see them in their natural surroundings that you come to realize just how amazing these flying works of art are. Morocco is home to a number of unique butterfly species, many of which can be seen when exploring the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains.

Frequently overlooked by those trekking in the High Atlas region, butterflies are excellent indicators of the health of an ecosystem. One of the most popular destinations with those who wish to see a number of butterfly species in Morocco is Mount Toubkal. Due to Morocco’s high temperatures, most butterflies are found higher up in the cooler mountain zones. Situated in the Toubkal National Park, Mount Toubkal is the highest peak in Morocco, at a height of 4,167 meters.

Certain tour operators offer specialized tours for butterfly enthusiasts, with day trips or trekking expeditions through particular areas of the High Atlas Mountains. Such tours allow travelers to not only admire the beauty of the butterflies, flowers and other natural wonders, but also to enjoy the local Moroccan culture and cuisine, offering an all-round experience. Guides will also be able to assist travelers in locating and identifying specific butterfly species.

Morocco boasts a number of endemic species, such as the Morocccan meadow brown (Hyponephele maroccana), Vucher’s heath (Coenonympha vaucheri) and Moroccan grayling (Pseudochazara atlantis). Species endemic to North Africa are the Moroccan hairstreak (Tomares mauretanicus), Dark Giant Grayling (Berberia lambessanus) and Giant Grayling (Berberia abdelkader). Local subspecies are the Moroccan High Brown Fritillary (Argynnis auresiana) and Martin’s blue. Other butterflies that can be seen are the Moroccan small skipper (Thymelicus hamza), rosy grizzled skipper (Pyrgus onopordi), the hermit (Chazara briseis), Moroccan marbled white (Melanargia lucasi), false mallow skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus), Sahara swallowtail (Papilio saharae), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), small copper (Lycaena phlaeas), African grass blue (Zizeeria knysna), monarch (Danaus plexippus), painted lady (Cynthia cardui) and many more.

Why not organize a trip to Morocco’s High Atlas region and Mount Toubkal to view these remarkable butterflies in their natural habitat.