Colias... very worn

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Kip
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Colias... very worn

Postby Kip » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:30 pm

helice, alfacariensis, or unlikely phicomone, what is the solution?
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Paul Wetton
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Re: Colias... very worn

Postby Paul Wetton » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:24 am

I'll have a go as nobody else has so far. Although very worn there appears to be insufficient black on the upper wing for croceus helice and possibly even afacariensis. The lack of dark spotting towards the outer margins of the underwings also rules out these two species unless the wear and tear has removed these markings. I can imagine that without the wear this could look like phicomone quite nicely but I defer to Guy or Roger or anyone else with more experience than myself for an ID. Just wanted to keep the thread going really to see what everyone thought.
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Chris Jackson
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Re: Colias... very worn

Postby Chris Jackson » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:46 pm

Knowing the location could immediately reduce the possibilities to 2 species.
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Padfield
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Re: Colias... very worn

Postby Padfield » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:06 pm

I somehow missed this.

I agree with Paul W that phicomone is the closest, based on appearance alone. Because of the condition, it's difficult to say with 100% certainty, but everything looks good, including the wing shape - I've often seen that very rounded look in phicomone. The only question is, why is it so worn, given that phicomone has only just started flying (it was on the wing in small numbers at 1800m in Switzerland the day after you left, Paul K)? If it's not phicomone, it's alfacariensis, which flies at all altitudes and has been on the wing for months now.

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Kip
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Re: Colias... very worn

Postby Kip » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:09 pm

Oops :oops: ..... it was taken on at Samoens, altitude of the site was 1667m, should have said!!

I thought it strange, and agree it ought to be alfacariensis presumably the oddity is due to it's worn out-ness.

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Roger Gibbons
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Re: Colias... very worn

Postby Roger Gibbons » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:28 pm

The solidity of the upperside apical black mark looks just too solid for phicomone to my eyes, and about right for alfacariensis.

The circumstantial evidence points to alfacariensis, this being a species I see commonly at high altitude, so I don't feel it would be at all unusual at this location.

My experience is that wing shape can vary significantly and is not a reliable indicator. I have photos of alfacriensis that are very variable in terms of wing shape, and all - having been seen in Var where hyale does not fly - are clearly alfacariensis. My photos of phicomone also vary in terms of wing shape, and are often not particularly rounded.

My vote goes to alfacariensis, but with only 70% confidence.

Roger

Kip
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Re: Colias... very worn

Postby Kip » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:56 pm

Thanks Roger, kind of glad no-one is quite certain... I'll leave it as an uncertain (alfacariensis then. It isn't going to make my top ten photos anyway - well, not quite! :roll:


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