Marseilles South of France 2017

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Padfield
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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Padfield » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:26 pm

Hi Chris. That osiris looks like semiargus to me. Does that makes sense in the context?

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:20 pm

Padfield wrote:Hi Chris. That osiris looks like semiargus to me. Does that makes sense in the context?

Guy

Thank you Guy,
You are right, that is Mazarine Blue.
Retrospectively it was hanging around clover and not sainfoin !!!
I did notice that at the time but chose to ignore it - lessons to be learnt hey ?.
semiargus1 male Hostellerie St Baume 05Jun17 (20).JPG

semiargus1 male Hostellerie St Baume 05Jun17 (3).JPG

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Hi Folks,
Here are a few images from the last few days in the South of France:
Montpezat in the area of the Gorges du Verdon, in the Var.
Field of lavender looking over towards the Alps:
lavande Montpezat 10Jun17 (1a).JPG

The only BF species I saw on the lavender was G. cleopatra - most peculiar, I was expecting a much larger variety of butterflies.

In a different environment - Purple Hairstreak:
quercus2 male Vernègues_13 16Jun17 (20a).JPG


In the scrub - a pair of M. jurtina:
jurtina pair Vernègues_13 16Jun17 (2a).JPG


In French this is called a "cigale". There must be different species as this one was really as big as it looks. Normally they are much smaller than this.
cigale1_13 Aurons 16Jun17 (7a).JPG


This is a caterpillar of S. proto - Sage Skipper on Phlomis herba-venti.
proto caterpillar Vernègues_13 16Jun17 (10a).JPG

It was not I who woke it from its rest. I was just a witness to some rough-neck who had preceeded me :shock: .

Cheers,
Chris
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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby David M » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:51 pm

That pristine Purple Hairstreak looks like it's freshly emerged, Chris.

Shame about the lavender field. I guess with a bit of altitude there'd have been quite a variety of species imbibing?

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:36 pm

David M wrote: ... Shame about the lavender field. I guess with a bit of altitude there'd have been quite a variety of species imbibing?...

David, to be so unattractive to butterflies, I really wouldn't be surprised if the lavender is treated or genetically modified.

Currently on the wing in my area, Spanish Purple Hairstreak.
This is a discrete butterfly that likes to nectar on brambles in the semi shade. It mingles with other hairstreaks (spini, esculi, ilicis) so you have to double check for candidates.
Vallon 24Jun17 (175).JPG

Vallon 24Jun17 (165).JPG

A bit of context:
view La Cout 24Jun17 (2).JPG

view La Cout 24Jun17 (1).JPG

mare Vallon du Cros 24Jun17 (2).JPG

roboris3 Vallon 24Jun17 (1).JPG

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Charles Nicol » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:56 pm

very nice hairstreak pics Chris !

that pond looks like a good place to find les papillons 8)

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:56 pm

Charles Nicol wrote: ... that pond looks like a good place to find les papillons 8)


Quite right Charles, plus all sorts of flying predators, dragonflies, robberflies.

Today in the South of France :
A new-be for me at this site between the Var and the Bouches du Rhone, A. pandora:
pandora1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (8a).JPG

A. niobe is no surprise:
niobe1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (2a).JPG

Marbled White:
galathea1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (4a).JPG

Furry Blue female:
dolus2 female Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (1a).JPG

Furry Blue male:
dolus1 male Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (2a).JPG

High Brown
adippe1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (2a).JPG

Black Satyr
actaea1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (6a).JPG

This is the high point of the season down here. Today I saw all the Argynnis species together except Dark Green Fritillary.
Chris
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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Charles Nicol » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:24 pm

Chris Jackson wrote:
Charles Nicol wrote: ... that pond looks like a good place to find les papillons 8)


Quite right Charles, plus all sorts of flying predators.

Today in the South of France :
A new-be for me, between the Var and the Bouches du Rhone, A. pandora:
pandora1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (8a).JPG
A. niobe is no surprise
niobe1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (2a).JPG
Marbled White:
galathea1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (4a).JPG
Furry Blue female
dolus2 female Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (1a).JPG
Furry Blue male
dolus1 male Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (2a).JPG
High Brown
adippe1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (2a).JPG
Black Satyr
actaea1 Vallon du Cros 06Jul17 (6a).JPG
This is the high point of the season down here.
Chris


chapeau !!

:D

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Matsukaze » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:16 pm

Chris Jackson wrote:
David M wrote: ... Shame about the lavender field. I guess with a bit of altitude there'd have been quite a variety of species imbibing?...

David, to be so unattractive to butterflies, I really wouldn't be surprised if the lavender is treated or genetically modified.



There seems to be a substantial amount of lavender honey produced from these fields, so I doubt it is being treated in some way. The little oak copses studded amongst the lavender fields all have a few hives in them during the flowering season.

The reason there are so few butterflies to be seen is that it is fairly intensively farmed (by the standards of the area), and so has a relatively low butterfly population with a vast nectar resource available. The butterflies end up being spread very thinly across the lavender. Here in Somerset much the same thing happens in some of the abandoned quarries where huge areas of buddleia scrub have developed. The buddleia draws in all the butterflies from the surrounding area, but there are so many bushes each butterfly has a few of them all to itself.

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:41 pm

Thanks for your reply, Matsukase.
Your reasoning about the distribution of the butterfly population over the extensive lavender cultivations is plausible.
I would invite anyone who goes on holiday in the South of France in the area of the Plateau de Valensole to go and see these fields full of lavender.
Cheers,
Chris
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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:59 pm

Hi Folks,
Here is an update from my lunch-time patch in Vitrolles, South of France.
You may remember that it was razed to the ground in wildfires on August 10th last year.
Minutes before the fires hit my olive grove :
context fire Vitrolles 10Aug16 (8).jpg

The next morning:
context fire Vitrolles Olive Grove 17Aug16 (5).JPG

Well a year has passed and the low lying vegetation (grasses) has rapidly grown again.
Even the strawberry trees are pushing back up from their roots, as can be seen here.
Arbousier Vitrolles olive grove 22Aug17 (2).JPG

Today from a distance I saw fluttering and a largish butterfly showing interest in one of these strawberry trees. I instinctively guessed what it was.
jasius1 female Vitrolles olive grove 22Aug17 a.JPG

And sure enough I found one egg.
jasius - ovum Vitrolles olive grove 22Aug17 a.JPG

So, in just over a year after the fires, nature is getting a grip again. There used to be a maximum of 47 species of butterfly in this olive grove and I have counted 21 in very small numbers this year; it will be interesting to see which will be the new arrivals next year.
Chris
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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby David M » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:19 pm

Hopefully things will recover still further next year, Chris. I take it you missed those fires that were raging in the Var a few weeks back?

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:05 pm

Hi Folks,
Here are a few images of what we can see in the South of France at the moment, at the beginning of September:
This is a male Chapman's
thersites1 male La Taurelle 01Sept17 (7).JPG
thersites1 male La Taurelle 01Sept17 (3).JPG

Here we have a Wood White:
sinapis1 La Taurelle 01Sept17 (2).JPG

This is S. proto:
proto1 La Taurelle 01Sept17 (44).JPG

A. paphia, form valesina:
paphia1 female La Taurelle 01Sept17.JPG

Male Chalk-hill
coridon1 male La Taurelle 01Sept17 (1).JPG

L. bellargus:
bellargus1 male La Taurelle 01Sept17 (3).JPG

bellargus1 male La Taurelle 01Sept17 (2).JPG

Woodland Grayling:
fagi1 La Taurelle 01Sept17.JPG

L. coridon - female and male:
coridon2 female La Taurelle 01Sept17 (5).JPG
coridon2 female La Taurelle 01Sept17 (1).JPG

coridon1 male La Taurelle 01Sept17 (1).JPG

P. onopordi (I think):
onopordi1 La Taurelle 01Sept17 (20).JPG

Large Wall:
maera1 female La Taurelle 01Sept17 (2).JPG

Chris
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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Charles Nicol » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:14 pm

Lovely images Chris !

The vaselina was especially belle. I enjoyed my French expedition this year despite its brevity.

Charles

8)

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:19 pm

Thanks Charles,

A few more images from the start of September down here in the South of France:
Purple Hairstreak well above head height on full zoom :
quercus1 La Taurelle 03Sept17 (14).JPG

Small Heaths mating - form lyllus:
pamphilus1 pair La Taurelle 03Sept17 (2).JPG

Woodland Graylings courting, although worn :
fagi1 pair La Taurelle 03Sept17 (3).JPG

Weaver's Frit - its season is long down here :
dia1 male La Taurelle 03Sept17 (2).JPG

Clouded Yellow female form helice :
crocea1 female f. heliceLa Taurelle 03Sept17.JPG

CORRECTION : The C. crocea f. helice is in fact C. alfacariensis female :oops:
Chris
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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby David M » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:10 am

Still quite a few interesting species flying by you, Chris, although many look to be at the latter end of their lives. :(

Well done with the Woodland Grayling upperside shot. I've been trying for a few years for this but have not yet been successful (yet I have managed Great Banded Grayling on occasions).

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Charles Nicol » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:55 pm

David M wrote:Still quite a few interesting species flying by you, Chris, although many look to be at the latter end of their lives. :(

Well done with the Woodland Grayling upperside shot. I've been trying for a few years for this but have not yet been successful (yet I have managed Great Banded Grayling on occasions).


36522333810_2c848d2a4b_h.jpg


this one hardly moved at all :shock:

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:51 pm

Hi Folks,
The South of France is still mild at the moment with a lo of 13°C and a hi of 25°C.
Things are calming down seriously on the butterfly front but we can still see this :
Lang's Short-tailed Blue - plenty around, some fresh some worn
pirithous1 Parc Bruyères 29Sep17 (1).JPG

Two-tailed Pasha Caterpillar:
jasius - caterpillar St Marcel 30Sep17a.JPG
jasius - caterpillar St Marcel 30Sep17.JPG

Context for the TTP:
context St Marcel St Marcel 30Sep17 (2).JPG
context St Marcel St Marcel 30Sep17 (1).JPG

P. brassicae:
brassicae Parc Bruyères 29Sep17 (45).JPG

C. argiolus:
argiolus Parc Bruyères 29Sep17 (1).JPG

Chris
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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby David M » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:46 pm

Always good to see a few butterflies, but it's even better to know someone is still having the luxury of basking in mid-twenties temperatures! Make the most of it, Chris. The season is all but done here in the UK. I suspect you will have a few more weeks yet!

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Re: Marseilles South of France 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:06 am

David M wrote: ... The season is all but done here in the UK. I suspect you will have a few more weeks yet!

We must be getting some warm air up from Spain, David, because today in the south east of France we have a lo of 18°C and a high of 25°C although overcast.
I was surprised yesterday to see these Graylings in such good condition. Two-tailed Pasha eggs were quite easy to find, but I should think that at this late stage many of them are un-viable. The star species at the moment is Lang's Short-tailed Blue - this is easily the most common species around. If the winter is mild, it can run right into January and through to any cold snap we may have in February (as is the case for Red Admirals).
Grayling in good nick:
semele30_13 Plaines Baronnes 01Oct17.JPG

Lang's Short-tailed Blue (L. pirithous):
pirithous45_13 Plaines Baronnes 01Oct17.JPG

TTP egg case on Strawberry Tree leaf:
jasius - egg2 Plaines Baronnes 01Oct17.JPG

TTP egg:
jasius - egg1 Plaines Baronnes 01Oct17.JPG

Tree Grayling (H. statilinus) (the last of the 'Graylings' to emerge):
statilinus29_13 Plaines Baronnes 01Oct17.JPG

Cheers,
Chris
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