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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Chris Jackson
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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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Charles Nicol
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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
Last edited by Chris Jackson on Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:59 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Charles Nicol
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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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Matsukaze
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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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