Shepherd's Fritillary (Boloria pales)

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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.

26863_male_Alpes-Maritimes_10Jul11 30489_male_Alpes-Maritimes_4Jul12 36425_male_Valais, Switzerland_20Jul14
36330_female_Valais, Switzerland_19Jul14 30815_female_Hautes-Alpes_7Jul12 23032_female_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10
23268_female_Valais, Switzerland_26Jul10 23000_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10 26859_male_Alpes-Maritimes_10Jul11
 
27598_male_Valais, Switzerland_22Jul11 38902_male_Hautes-Pyrénées_22Jul15  

For comments on the taxonomy of the Boloria group please see the page for the Balkan Fritillary (B. graeca). Pales is very similar to the Mountain Fritillary (B. napaea) and the two are quite difficult to differentiate, especially as they often fly together at high altitudes.

The female napaea is strongly suffused with a greenish sheen and quite different to the female pales. The principal differences between pales and napaea are discussed on the napaea page.
ref sex

observations

alt. m
26863 M a male, clearly pales (rather than napaea) because of the disjointed upf series of post-discal spots. I did wonder if graeca could be a possibility, given that the colouring and wing shape looked rather unlike pales, but the uph post-discal series of round black spots did not seem large enough for graeca. Apart from that, I could not see any obvious way of differentiating the male uppersides of pales and graeca. TLID refers to the graeca uph margin (at about v3) as angular, although not appearing particularly angular in the illustration in the book, but 26863 is really not angular. An underside shot, which I don't have, would have been conclusive. 2320
30489 M a male, a rather suffused orange, but the heavier markings and non-linear upf post-discal series point to pales. 2000
36425 M I believe this to be pales, even though the markings are relatively fine, based on the disjoint in the upf series of post-discal black spots. 2090
36330 F a rather suffused female, with a noticeably square wing shape. 2090
30815 F a female, heavily suffused and with very dark margins, but without the sheen that would indicate napaea. The non-linearity of the upf post-discal series is fairly conclusive indication of pales. 2020
23032 F

clearly a female and it does not have any suffusion so it must be pales. Also the upf post-discal spots are clearly offset which strongly points to pales.

2200
23268 F

clearly a female and, even though heavily marked and quite a dark, dull orange, it does not have any suffusion, so it must be pales. Also the upf post-discal spots are very clearly offset which I feel is fairly overwhelming evidence that it is pales.

2090
23000 M

the redness and the contrasted white marginal marks are good pointers to pales.

2200
26859 M a beautifully designed underside, such subtlety of the markings and the colours. 2320
27598 M a male underside, not quite as well defined as 26859. 2160
38902 M a male underside from the Hautes-Pyrénées, where the subspecies pyrenesmiscens flies. This appears to be paler and less contrasted than those that fly in the Alpes. 2120

 

26863_male_Alpes-Maritimes_10Jul11

 

30489_male_Alpes-Maritimes_4Jul12

 

36425_male_Valais, Switzerland_20Jul14

 

36330_female_Valais, Switzerland_19Jul14

 

30815_female_Hautes-Alpes_7Jul12

 

23032_female_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

 

23268_female_Valais, Switzerland_26Jul10

 

23000_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

 

26859_male_Alpes-Maritimes_10Jul11

 

27598_male_Valais, Switzerland_22Jul11

 

38902_male_Hautes-Pyrénées_22Jul15