ENGLISH BUTTERFLY - History, Features & Photos!

English butterfly: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Known as the English spot in English, the English Butterfly is...

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Known as the English spot in English, the English Papillon is a breed of rabbit that is characterized by its beautiful spotted coat. The particularity of these spots is that they are distributed in a very particular way, which gives this rabbit a unique appearance.

English Papillons first appeared decades ago, popularized for their good natures and being highly valued as pet rabbits. Thus, it is very common these days to find them as pets in homes around the world.This is why, on PlanèteAnimal, we tell you all about the English butterfly, its characteristics, its history and its main care.


  • Europe
  • United Kingdom

Origin of the English Butterfly

The English Butterflies appeared at the end of the 19th century in England, hence their name English spot. Although it is not known what exact breeds this variety originated from, it has been determined that it is likely a cross between English and German spotted rabbits.

They arrived in the United States in the early decades of the 20th century, and the American English Papillon Club was founded in 1924. Since then, the breed has gained followers, becoming one of the most popular in the world. world.

Characteristics of the English Butterfly

The English Papillon is a small to medium sized rabbit. In general, it weighs between 2 and 3 kilograms. The average life expectancy of these rabbits is around 12 years.

The body of the animal is of medium size, with a marked dorsal arch that runs from the neck to the hindquarters. Its hind legs should be rounded and long to allow the body to lift off the ground.

Although the above characteristics help identify the breed, the most representative characteristics of the English Papillon are undoubtedly those that refer to its coat. The ideal coat of the breed is very specific, since this rabbit must have a basic color, generally light, on which some spots or dots appear. These spots should follow the following distribution: a chain of dots that run from the hind legs and tail to the neck, where a line begins that follows the animal's spine. It should also have a marking on the front legs, as well as on the cheeks, a circle around the eyes and a colored nose. The ears and their base should be the same color as the spots.All of these marks should be well defined, without being diffuse or having any shade of the base color. In addition, the coat is always short and very dense.

English Butterfly Colors

The different varieties of English Butterfly according to their color are as follows:

  • Black English butterfly: white base and intense, shiny black spots, which have a bluish base. The eyes are dark brown
  • Blue butterfly: white base and very shiny dark blue spots. The eyes are grayish blue.
  • Chocolate English butterfly: its spots on a white base are chocolate brown, dark and shiny. The eyes are brown.
  • Golden butterfly: golden spots, which must be very different from the white base, being clean and shiny, in a very well defined way. The eyes are brown.
  • Grey English Butterfly: This pattern is very special, as it features a gray color that is truly exclusive to the breed. It is characterized by specially defined spots in the area of the face and the head in general. The eyes are brown.
  • Lilac English butterfly: with gray spots of a pinkish tone, resembling lilac. These bunnies have grayish blue eyes.
  • Turtle English butterfly: in these rabbits, the spots should be orange in color on the line of the back, while they are smoke gray on the sides of the back and very dark on the head and ears. The eyes are brown.

English Butterfly Character

The English Papillon is incredibly energetic and cheerful, very playful and very outgoing. He is such an active rabbit that he needs at least 1 to 2 hours of play a day to burn off all the accumulated energy. In addition, this period of activity usually coincides with two times, dawn and dusk, being quieter throughout the day. He particularly likes to be accompanied and he does not like to be alone for long hours. For more information on playing time, see our article "How to play with your rabbit?" ".

The English Papillon needs to interact with others, getting along well with children as well as with other animals in the house if they have become accustomed to each other. If they are playing with young children, it is important that they do so under adult supervision, as this will prevent possible injury to each other, or stress to the rabbit.

How to take care of the English Butterfly?

English Papillons are a very active and lively breed that loves to play and run. This is why it is not recommended to keep them in spaces that are too small or to lock them in a cage. If they have a cage for certain times or when they are alone, it is essential that it is made of soft material and that it never has a wire mesh base as this causes sores on the rabbit's legs .

As for the English Butterfly's diet, it must be balanced and varied.We can give it a specific diet for rabbits, combining it with large quantities of hay and fresh vegetables. Fruit should be limited due to the high amount of sugar it contains.

The coat of these rabbits is not very demanding, it is recommended to brush them regularly to remove dead hair and dirt. However, baths are not recommended, as for the majority of rabbits, as they remove the protective barrier of the skin, are stressful and can lead to the development of respiratory diseases if the rabbit is not completely dry or if it is sucks up water by accident.

English Butterfly He alth

The English Papillon does not present congenital diseases, that is to say that there are no diseases specifically linked to its genetics. However, these rabbits are somewhat prone to certain illnesses, such as dental issues.All rabbits have teeth that keep growing throughout their lives, but some breeds grow faster than others. This is the case of English Papillons, whose teeth, if they do not wear out quickly, tend to grow too much, which leads to problems such as malocclusions in the mouth or dental abscesses.

Also, as we have already mentioned, it is very important to watch the ground on which our rabbit is resting. Too rigid a floor or the bases of wire cages are very painful because they cause sores on the rabbit's feet which take a long time to heal.

Where to adopt an English Butterfly?

Although you may never have heard of the English Papillon, it is safe to say that it is a fairly common breed, which is found in more and more animal shelters. That's why it shouldn't be too complicated to find a shelter or an association specializing in fostering and adopting rabbits that has Papillons Anglais.

Given the delicacy of these animals, adopting them when they are abandoned usually means saving their lives, as they are so susceptible to humidity and contagious diseases that they usually die very quickly in shelters . This is why advocating for adoption is so important, because you will save a rabbit, although it should always be done responsibly, by only adopting if we are completely sure we can care for the animal and to take care of it in all respects.

Pictures of English Butterfly

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