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2017 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
Arcania is an attractive butterfly, bright orange when fresh, and often very common and widely distributed in southern France. However, in the Alpine regions I was checking each “pearly” closely in case it was the much rarer Darwin's Heath (C. darwiniana).
I have placed the more detailed comparison of the relative features of arcania, darwiniana, and the Alpine Heath (C. gardetta) on the darwiniana page.
|37907||M||a rare view of the upperside of this male. It appeared to be unable to close its wings but was able to move around on the ground. It is identifiable as male based on body shape and length, and on the broad dark borders whereas the female has rather narrower borders.||1080|
|25602||M||a male, presumably, as it appears to be taking salts. The marginal silver line is very much reduced and almost vestigial on the unf.||1400|
a typical arcania, with a clear light band on the unf and, unusually, two ocelli. The unh ocelli are quite strong in s2/3, strong black with clear white centres, medium in s4 and small in s1 and s5, with a creamy post-discal band. The marginal silver band is strong and complete, more visible in the enlarged versions below. The s6 ocellus looks as if it could be considered as "contained within" the light post-discal band.
a female, based on the visible body shape. No ocellus in s1.
|35181||?||a rather paler arcania than the norm, with yellowish-ringed and smallish ocelli. It also has no discernible unf submarginal silver line, in common with 25602.||880|
|37293||PAIR||a mating pair of beautifully fresh arcania. It is perhaps the female above, as the female usually seems to take the dominant role during mating. It is interesting to speculate on how the upper partner is clinging on to the underside of the leaf.||220|