Vercors butterfly identification

Discussion forum for getting a butterfly identified.
Part timer
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Vercors butterfly identification

Postby Part timer » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:11 pm

Hi all

My wife and I spent a very enjoyable 10 days or so in the Vercors region of France at the end of June. Lovely scenery and lots of butterflies when the sun shone - mostly between 800 and 1800m or so.

I've spent some time going through photographs to confirm identification, but there are some I'd appreciate confirmation or correction on: and a few others I haven't been able to reach an opinion on (mostly because of inadequate quality photographs).

Starting off with the Blues - (there are more to come!).

Any thoughts welcome.

Regards, Rupert
Attachments
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Osiris Blue?
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Osiris Blue?
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Osiris Blue (same insect as above)?
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Large Blue?
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Mountain (or Brown) Argus?
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No idea - could be anything!
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Amanda's Blue?
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Amanda's Blue (same insect as previous)?
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No real idea on this one - not enough distinguishing features on show
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I can't tell from this photograph

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David M
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Re: Vercors butterfly identification

Postby David M » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:32 pm

Hi Rupert. Your first three look like Mazarine Blue to me. I agree with your Amanda's although the lighting and wing angles aren't ideal for me to be sure. The penultimate butterfly has that 'brassy' sheen reminiscent of Geranium Argus, and shows no hint of blue near the body which would support this.

I'll wait for the mighty Padfield & Gibbons to pronounce their judgements. In the meantime, mine can be considered 'speculative'. :)

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Padfield
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Re: Vercors butterfly identification

Postby Padfield » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:13 pm

I agree with David's IDs. Definitely mazarine blue, not Osiris (the disposition of the spots on the underside hindwing is decisive).

The last has the look of a really worn chalkhill blue. Since this is improbable at the end of June, perhaps Provence chalkhill blue is more likely.

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com

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Re: Vercors butterfly identification

Postby Part timer » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:31 am

Thanks, both, for your responses. My initial thought was mazarine and I'm not sure now why I changed my view. Did you have any thoughts on those that I'd provisionally labelled as large blue and mountain argus?

Secondly we saw a lot of male scarce coppers and it's only when I discovered that there is a sub species eurydame of the purple-edged copper that is very similar, that I looked again again at my photographs. I've found a couple I think could be purple-edged: plus a female that I had down as purple-edged from the start, so I would appreciate any further opinions on these.

Thanks again, Rupert
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David M
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Re: Vercors butterfly identification

Postby David M » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:38 am

I can't see enough of your first male to be sure it's Purple-Edged, but the second male certainly is.

John Vergo
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Re: Vercors butterfly identification

Postby John Vergo » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:42 pm

Your Large Blue : I would say that it is Alcon Blue ( Phengaris alcon)
Your Mountain (Brown) Argus : in my eyes it is Mountain Argus ( Aricia artaxerxes)

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Re: Vercors butterfly identification

Postby Part timer » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:00 pm

John - I had considered Alcon Blue but ruled it out on the basis that the Collins guide classifies it as a wetland species and this one was on a grassy bank at the side of a forested track at approximately 1300m. Having now checked out the Mountain Alcon Blue, I've found out that this is now regarded as a sub-species of the Alcon Blue rather than a separate species and the habitat and location fits a lot better, so I'd agree with you.

Thanks to all who have advised on identification - there will be more to come but I will start a separate thread.

Regards, Rupert

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David M
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Re: Vercors butterfly identification

Postby David M » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:58 pm

I shall look forward to that thread, Rupert. You have clearly been amongst some wonderful (and often rare) European species in 2017.


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