Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia)

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2016 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

18256_male_Isère_12Jul09 2355_male_Var_5Jul06 16342_female_Var_20Jun09
18246_male_Isère_12Jul09 18401_male_Isère_13Jul09 40761_female_Var_21Jun16
16322_female_Var_20Jun09 - form valezina 16498_female_Var_23Jun09 - form valezina 2661_female_Var_11Jul06 - form valezina
   
11591_female_Var_27Jun08 - form valezina    

A common species almost everywhere. The last four photographs show the form valezina, a variant of the female where both surfaces have a bronze-green suffusion, giving it a superficial similarity to the Cardinal (A. pandora). I have only seen one valezina in England, where it is comparatively infrequent, but in one small locality in Var, valezina consistently makes up around 30% of the female paphia population of 20-30, and this has been consistent every year for the past few years.

Valezina is sometimes spelt valesina. The male paphia has very pronounced sex brands, giving it a more "streaky" appearance, whereas the female seems more "spotted".
ref sex

observations

alt. m
18256 M

a male, fresh and quite heavily marked.

1120
2355 M

a typical male with very heavy sex brands on veins 1-3 and a smaller one on s4.

450
16342 F

a female of the nominate form, quite heavily marked.

220
18246 M

a male, nice developed silvery-white unh streaks.

1120
18401 M

a male, very limited silvery-white streaks on the unh - contrast with 18246 from the same location and time.

1120
40761 F a female with a particularly green underside. 840
16322 F

a female of the form valezina, very heavily marked and appearing almost black in flight.

220
16498 F

a female of the form valezina taking moisture from a damp mud puddle.

450
2661 F

a female upperside of the form valezina.

450
11591 F

T&L says there is a form argyrea which has no silver streaks on the unh and occurs in northern Italy and Spain, and 11591 matches the illustration of this in T&L quite closely. H&R refers to this form as anargyria. I am inclined to assume that it is an underside of the form valezina, but T&L does not give an illustration of this so I cannot be 100% certain, although I cannot see what else it could be, on the assumption that H&R is correct regarding the distribution of anargyria. If it is valezina, it has to be a female.

220

 

18256_male_Isère_12Jul09

 

2355_male_Var_5Jul06

 

16342_female_Var_20Jun09

 

18246_male_Isère_12Jul09

 

18401_male_Isère_13Jul09

 

40761_female_Var_21Jun16

 

16322_female_Var_20Jun09 - form valezina

 

16498_female_Var_23Jun09 - form valezina

 

2661_female_Var_11Jul06

 

11591_female_Var_27Jun08