Help with mountain species please

Discussion forum for getting a butterfly identified.
Chris Jackson
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France
Contact:

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
https://sites.google.com/site/mespapill ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

User avatar
Roger Gibbons
Posts: 765
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:29 pm
Location: Hatfield, Herts
Contact:

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
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France
Contact:

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
https://sites.google.com/site/mespapill ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

John Vergo
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:38 pm
Location: Vojens Denmark

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
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France
Contact:

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
https://sites.google.com/site/mespapill ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

John Vergo
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:38 pm
Location: Vojens Denmark

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
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France
Contact:

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.
https://sites.google.com/site/mespapill ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

User avatar
Paul Wetton
Posts: 777
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:07 am
Contact:

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
_____________________________________________________________________________
http://www.wildlife-films.com http://www.ibirdz.co.uk

John Vergo
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:38 pm
Location: Vojens Denmark

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.

Chris Jackson
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France
Contact:

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
https://sites.google.com/site/mespapill ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

Chris Jackson
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France
Contact:

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
https://sites.google.com/site/mespapill ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

User avatar
Tony Moore
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:37 pm

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.

User avatar
Roger Gibbons
Posts: 765
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:29 pm
Location: Hatfield, Herts
Contact:

Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Roger Gibbons » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:11 pm

A while ago I wrote an article for the EIG Newsletter which might be useful, pages 14-19:
http://www.bc-eig.org.uk/downloads/EIG16.pdf

In principle, the markings of napaea are thinner and more delicate than those of pales.

The distribution of graeca is given here:
http://diatheo.weebly.com/boloria-graeca.html
It's highly unlikely to be graeca in mid-Savoie as Chris says.

I have just seen five graeca in two different places in the Mercantour, none which had the decency to sit still for a photo.

Roger

Chris Jackson
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France
Contact:

Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Chris Jackson » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:52 am

Hi Tony,
and thanks Roger for the link to your article which is quite precise and well explained.
So, when I look back at my 2 photos above, the first thing I note (which now is obvious), is that the length of the abdomen in both photos is the same and extends to the edge of the hind wing = both photos are of males !! (I should have spotted that - beginners stuff :oops: ).
With the first male the markings are finer, the offset between the black spots in s3 and s4 is more pronounced and the two rows of black spots do seem to converge towards the apex = B. pales ?
With the second male the markings are bolder, the offset between the black spots in s3 and s4 is less pronounced and the two rows of black spots seem to remain more parallel = B. napaea ?
Having said that, my photos of the undersides seem to show completely the opposite of the characteristics in Roger's photos.

Here are 2 other photos from a different place, from a known pass in the Mercantour at 2360 m. The photos are from the same location at a 10 minute interval - supposedly belonging to the same colony. Clearly male and female.
Male B. pales
pales2 male Col de la Cayolle Mercantour 27Jun17 (5).JPG

Female B. pales
pales1 female Col de la Cayolle Mercantour 27Jun17 (14a).JPG

Chris
https://sites.google.com/site/mespapill ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

User avatar
Padfield
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 6758
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:19 pm
Location: Switzerland
Contact:

Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Padfield » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:23 am

Hi Chris. All the pictures I see here are pales (in MHO). I simply don't understand the Lafranchis thing about parallel or non-parallel and have never found it any use in practice. As you know, both species fly in Switzerland and although I've never found a place with only napaea (females being the give-away) I do know places with only pales (unless they are special colonies with no females). I've seen a huge range in the appearance of male pales but the position of the spot in s.2 and the shape of some of the other spots is relatively consistent, even when the linearity/macularity varies. There are supposed to be features on the underside that distinguish them too but I've never really got these to work, again because of the huge variation in pales.

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com

Chris Jackson
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:35 am
Location: Marseilles, France
Contact:

Re: Help with mountain species please

Postby Chris Jackson » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:18 pm

Thank you Guy,
I will reflect on the information I have received regarding Boloria pales / napaea, and will no doubt get my photos out during the autumn/winter for a closer look.
Chris
https://sites.google.com/site/mespapill ... baume/home
Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.


Return to “Identification”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest