Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne)

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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.

32504_male_Alpes-Maritimes_2Jun13 7303_male_Alpes-Maritimes_24Jun07 23311_male_Valais, Switzerland_26Jul10
35810_male_Alpes-Maritimes_2Jul14 33581_male_Alpes-Maritimes_9Jul13 41942_male_Savoie_24Jul16
22347_female_Hautes-Alpes_15Jul10 36963_male_Var_21Apr15 21375_male?_Alpes-Maritimes_3Jul10
 
21380_female?_Alpes-Maritimes_3Jul10 10189_female_Var_3May08  

In many places, the UK in particular, euphrosyne is considerably less common than the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (B. selene). However, in southern France the reverse seems to be true, and in Var and the Alpes-Maritimes selene does not occur so there is never an identification problem. In fact, having visited a variety of locations in southern France in the past seven years I have not seen a single selene, and euphrosyne was often common.

 

They are superficially quite similar, but selene is usually smaller and often darker and the uppersides can be differentiated by the uph marginal markings - in selene they are slightly sagittate and touching the margins, making them enclosed or "pearls" as this is supposedly how it became named; in euphrosyne the marginal marks are more regular solid triangles just touching or not quite touching the margins.

The undersides are much easier to distinguish; euphrosyne has a generally lighter and more reddish feel and a single white thin cell mark in s5, whereas in selene there is a series of unh white discal marks and a generally darker feel. The books say that in the alignment of the upf post-discal spots the spot in s4 is aligned with the others in euphrosyne, and not in selene, but this never seems very convincing to me; it does seem that the selene submarginal spots are broadly parallel to the margin, but in euphrosyne the s1-3 spots veer inward somewhat. Maybe this is what they mean.
ref sex

observations

alt. m
32504 M a very fresh male, which flew constantly and only slowed down for a photograph when the weather became very overcast. 1080
7303 M

a male, based on body shape/length and the lighter markings (especially in the basal area).

2100
23311 M

a very heavily marked male, probably an altitude effect.

2090
35810 M a male, warming up in the early sunshine, as this species seems rather prone to do. 2100
33581 M a male, warming up on a mountain path in the morning. 1600
41942 M a male, in typical pose resting on the ground. It is fortunate that they do this as otherwise photography would be impossible as they tend to fly non-stop in sunny conditions. 41942 is what I would consider to be about mid-range in terms of strength of markings. 2010
22347 F

clearly a female based on the shape of the abdomen, but rather dark and suffuse.

2040
36963 M a male underside, nectaring. 220
21375 M

probably a male, based on what can be seen of the end of the abdomen. This is fairly typical and shows the redness of the euphrosyne underside quite nicely.

1320
21380 M

probably a female based on the thickness of the abdomen, but the length may suggest male. The underside is exceptionally red.

1320
10189 F

an underside, a female, based on what I saw of the upperside at the time.

450

 

32504_male_Alpes-Maritimes_2Jun13

 

7303_male_Alpes-Maritimes_24Jun07

 

23311_male_Valais, Switzerland_26Jul10

 

35810_male_Alpes-Maritimes_2Jul14

 

33581_male_Alpes-Maritimes_9Jul13

 

41942_male_Savoie_24Jul16

 

22347_female_Hautes-Alpes_15Jul10

 

36963_male_Var_21Apr15

 

21375_male?_Alpes-Maritimes_3Jul10

 

21380_female?_Alpes-Maritimes_3Jul10

 

10189_female_Var_3May08