Marseilles South of France 2017

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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:05 pm
Location: West Glam

Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Sylvie_h » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:13 pm

Hi Chris,

Interesting observations and nice pictures, you must be very busy at this time of year in the South of France.... I guess from July, everything will start to die off and you will need to go higher up.
Regarding your dragonfly, I would go for Gomphus Simillimus although I would like to see a picture of the side of the thorax. Do you have one? Emergence at this time of year may be a bit early but knowing the area where you are species tend to abide by the weather conditions rather than by the calendar so I would not be surprised to find them 2 weeks earlier.

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Charles Nicol
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Location: Cambridge

Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Charles Nicol » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:11 pm

Glad to see that Nature is replenishing your site so quickly Chris ! I enjoyed your Festoon pics especially.

Chris Jackson
Posts: 1448
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France

Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:00 pm

Hi Sylvie,
I dont have better views of the dragonfly. As you say, the weather may dictate emergence more than the calendar.
Any holidays planned for France this year ?

Hi Charles,
The Spring butterfly species will soon be making way for the Summer species, and neither of them wait for me. :?

Today, 28 April, South of France, Marseilles area:
A very strong Mistral wind kept most imagos grounded,
However, it was the opportunity to check out some caterpillars:

Despite the strong cold wind, in one day I managed to find 4 different butterfly species' caterpillars. I'm progressing. :)

Some Southern Festoon caterpillars are still in an early stage (4 to 5 mm). I was expecting to see them larger by now:
polyxena - caterpillar 3 à 4 mm Marais de Tête Noire 28Apr17 (7a).JPG

I believe this to be Provence Orange Tip caterpillar on Biscutella laevigata:
(a second opinion is seriously required)
euphenoides - caterpillar1 Parc des Bruyères 28Apr17 (6a).JPG

Here, Western Dappled White caterpillar, also on Biscutella laevigata. It is larger (3.5 cm) because this species flies well before the P.O.T.:
crameri - caterpillar1 3.5 cm St Marcel 28Apr17 (19a).JPG

Orange Tip caterpillar on Arabis sp.:
(The white flower heads have been eaten by the caterpillar)
cardamines - caterpillar St Marcel 28Apr17 (9a).JPG

Some context in the Marseilles area today, with host plants, Biscutella laevigata and Arabis sp., growing alongside this path.
context - St Marcel 28Apr17 (7).JPG

Blue skies, sunny, very strong cold wind ( 14°C ).
context - St Marcel 28Apr17 (6).JPG

"Wish you were here" as the post cards say,
Chris ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

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