Help with mountain species please

Discussion forum for getting a butterfly identified.
Chris Jackson
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Help with mountain species please

Postby Chris Jackson » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:08 pm

Hi Folks,
Today, in the Savoie départment in the French Alps, on the Pointe de la Masse near the Les Menuires resort, I saw this Erebia at 2800 m altitude :
I only got its uppersides :
Photo 1
Erebia2 2800 m Pointe de la Masse Les Menuires 12Jul17 (1a).JPG

context :
context Erebia Pointe de la Masse Les Menuires 12Jul17 (2).JPG

However, very close by I got the underside of 2 other individuals :
Photo 2 ( 2800 m )
Erebia1 2800 m Pointe de la Masse Les Menuires 12Jul17 (2a).JPG

Photo 3 ( 2800 m )
Erebia3 2800 m Pointe de la Masse Les Menuires 12Jul17 (14) - Copie.JPG

(they were all flying in proximity to Peak White also at 2800 m)
callidice1 2800 m Pointe de la Masse Les Menuires 12Jul17 (5aa).JPG

Going back down the mountain I also saw this individual at 2100 m alt.:
Photo 4 uppers
Erebia4 2100 m Pointe de la Masse Les Menuires 12Jul17 (12).JPG

Photo 5 unders
Erebia4 2100 m Pointe de la Masse Les Menuires 12Jul17 (2).JPG

is it E. euryale ?

And can we confirm that this is Coenonympha gardetta at 2212 m altitude ?
Photo 6
gardetta 2212 m Pointe de la Masse Les Menuires 12Jul17 (2a).JPG

Thanks,
Chris
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Roger Gibbons
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Roger Gibbons » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:02 pm

I think your Erebia are gorge (Silky) and euryale. Great find to get gorge in France - I've only ever seen it in CH. Your male Peak White is also a great find, it would be even more so if a reclusive female.

Roger

Chris Jackson
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Chris Jackson » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:03 pm

Thank you Roger,
The Silky Ringlet is a lifer for me, whereas I had glimpsed a Peak White with no photo last year in Switzerland with Guy, so this has brought me now officially into the Peak White club. :D
I will have some other mountain species coming up for confirmation if I may.
Cheers,
Chris
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John Vergo
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby John Vergo » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:30 pm

Hi Chris
Your photo no 6 is for sure a gardetta :)

Chris Jackson
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Chris Jackson » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:16 pm

Thank you John
That is a comfort.
Any opinion on my Boloria further down would be welcome.
Chris
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John Vergo
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby John Vergo » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:58 pm

Hi Chris
I can´t no longer find your post about the Boloria, but before it "disappeared" I copied your pictures to my laptop :) I have now examined your pictures and I am quit sure that is it a B. napaea :)
BR
john

Chris Jackson
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Chris Jackson » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:25 pm

Thank you John,
I find that the characteristics given in the different ID books for B. pales and B. napaea are not clear. There does not seem to be an easy and foolproof ID method.
Remember, this is in the Savoie département (French post code 73).
These were probably the photos I posted:
2300 m altitude, Val Thorens ski resort
Male
Boloria1 Les Menuires 14Jul17 (19).JPG

same Male
Boloria1 Les Menuires 14Jul17 (17).JPG


2140 m altitude, Les Menuires ski resort
Female
Boloria1 2140 m Le Roc1 Les Menuires 13Jul17 (7).JPG

same female
Boloria1 2140 m Le Roc1 Les Menuires 13Jul17 (6).JPG

Chris
Last edited by Chris Jackson on Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:53 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Paul Wetton
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Paul Wetton » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:10 pm

To provoke a bit more interest in these difficult to ID species I thought they may have both been males and that the first could have been Shepherd's with the light markings and more unparallel spots on the upper forewing whilst the second could be Mountain Fritillary with thicker markings and slightly more parallel lines of spots on the upper forewings. I'm likely to be completely wrong here having not seen these species for several years now.
Cheers Paul
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John Vergo
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby John Vergo » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:34 pm

Hi Chris
Yes the first two pictures was the one I saw, I havn´t seen the last two, but for me it is a clear B.graeca because of the complete row af brown ringed eye-spot on the hindwing.

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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Chris Jackson » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:10 pm

Paul Wetton wrote:To provoke a bit more interest in these difficult to ID species I thought they may have both been males and that the first could have been Shepherd's with the light markings and more unparallel spots on the upper forewing whilst the second could be Mountain Fritillary with thicker markings and slightly more parallel lines of spots on the upper forewings ....


Hi Paul,
Thanks for your input. A tricky question these Boloria sp.. Frankly, the illustrations in the Collins butterfly guide are not representative of what I see in the field (or on the mountain) in France. The photos in 'Papillons de France' by T. Lafranchis are a lot closer to reality as to the difference between male and female, but still leave me in some doubt as to the difference between B. pales and B. napaea.
The markings are lighter on the male and bolder on the female.
As to whether the rows of spots are less parallel or more unparallel between the 2 species, I lack the discerning eye of the artist. :?
Any other opinions as to these views ?
Male ? Boloria pales / napaea
Boloria1 Les Menuires 14Jul17 (17).JPG

Female ? Boloria pales / napaea
Boloria1 2140 m Le Roc1 Les Menuires 13Jul17 (7).JPG
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Chris Jackson
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Chris Jackson » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:32 pm

John Vergo wrote: ... for me it is a clear B.graeca because of the complete row of brown ringed eye-spot on the hindwing.

Thanks John,
I was in the Savoie département (73) in France.
B. graeca is not usually spotted in this département so I am a little wary.
It is true as well that with the Boloria sp., all the markings are so variable and I am relatively inexperienced with altitude species, so I hesitate moving away from present trends and sightings.
Having said this, with my photos I would like to contribute to and enlarge any existing knowledge.
I may leave these photos classed as Boloria sp. for the moment :D
Cheers, Chris
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Tony Moore
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Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Tony Moore » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:02 pm

Is not the hw angle is too obtuse for graeca?

Tony M.


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