Butterflies of Var, Southern France

Discussion forum for any overseas items (given that this is a "UK" butterflies forum!).
User avatar
Matsukaze
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:18 pm
Location: North Somerset

Re: Butterflies of Var, Southern France

Postby Matsukaze » Wed May 17, 2017 9:38 pm

Can anyone please identify the caterpillar? It looks to me like it might be one of the smaller fritillaries.
Dsc09410.jpg

Dsc09411.jpg


Dsc09417.jpg
Common Blue male

Dsc09381.jpg
Wall Brown male

User avatar
Matsukaze
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:18 pm
Location: North Somerset

Re: Butterflies of Var, Southern France

Postby Matsukaze » Wed May 17, 2017 9:42 pm

The first few days were cold and mostly cloudy and wet, but the sunny intervals brought out the butterflies.

Dsc09507.jpg


Dsc09501.jpg
Scarce Swallowtail is always a delight to see

Dsc09519.jpg
Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were out in good numbers

Dsc09542.jpg
Spotted Fritillary

Dsc09547.jpg
Red-underside Skipper

Dsc09553.jpg
Spotted Fritillary male

User avatar
Matsukaze
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:18 pm
Location: North Somerset

Re: Butterflies of Var, Southern France

Postby Matsukaze » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:31 pm

On the first really sunny day, a walk into the hills revealed an incredible abundance of alciphron, a real gem of a butterfly and a lycaenid of considerable character; a much larger Small Copper, equally pugnacioius, only faster and seemingly more effortless in its flight. Like its smaller brethren the males are given to chasing each other in figure-of-eight loops for long periods, only alciphron's loops cover about double the area, in probably much the same time.

Dsc09624.jpg
Female Lycaena alciphron

Dsc09633.jpg
Male Lycaena alciphron


Later in the holiday I managed to film them courting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxnsI2VIeqg

Spanish Festoons occurred in the same general area, rocky with very sparse grassland surrounded by scrub; quite a contrast with southern Spain where I have seen the species more often, where it prefers denser vegetation in more wooded places. It has always before struck me as a sort of Spanish equivalent of the Small Tortoiseshell.

Dsc09643.jpg

Dsc09647.jpg


Chequered and Baton Blues were also about in reasonable numbers.

Dsc09639.jpg

Dsc09649.jpg

Dsc09641.jpg


Finally, is this a Black-eyed Blue?

Dsc09618.jpg


Dsc09618.jpg

Chris Jackson
Posts: 1477
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France
Contact:

Re: Butterflies of Var, Southern France

Postby Chris Jackson » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:10 pm

Hi Matsukaze,
I'll go with Black-eyed Blue female due to the underside grey marginal markings and wide upperside border.
Chris
https://sites.google.com/site/mespapill ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

User avatar
Matsukaze
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:18 pm
Location: North Somerset

Re: Butterflies of Var, Southern France

Postby Matsukaze » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:08 pm

Thanks Chris - I had thought as much but this seems a species with very variable amounts of blue on the upperside, which admittedly is not that unusual amongst female blues.

More to follow soon when I get round to reviewing the photos.

User avatar
Padfield
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 6598
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:19 pm
Location: Switzerland
Contact:

Re: Butterflies of Var, Southern France

Postby Padfield » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:20 am

Hi Matsukaze. I think your caterpillar is a feathered footman, Coscinia striata. It's definitely one of the Arctiidae.

http://www.pyrgus.de/Spiris_striata_en.html

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com
European Butterfly app for iPhone, iPad and iPod: http://www.guypadfield.com/lepidapp/lepidapp.html

User avatar
Matsukaze
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:18 pm
Location: North Somerset

Re: Butterflies of Var, Southern France

Postby Matsukaze » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:56 pm

Thanks Guy - strange how the adult moth is so much smaller than a fritillary when the larva is about the same size.


Return to “Overseas”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests