Moorland Clouded Yellow (Colias palaeno)

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2018 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

12238_male_Hautes-Alpes_8Jul08 31316_male_Savoie_18Jul12 41913_male_Savoie_24Jul16
45607_male_Savoie_14Jul18 17556_female_Hautes-Alpes_08Jul09 27727_female_Valais, Switzerland_22Jul11

An altitude butterfly having a minimum altitude range of 1500m in the Alpes, although occurring lower in the Jura. It is similar to the Mountain Clouded Yellow (C. phicomone) although clearly recognisable by the solid black marginal band on the upf which shows through to the underside, especially if the sun is behind it and light is shining through.

The unf "hollow" cell mark differentiates it from other Crocea species, but I'm not sure how reliable this is. As with many Colias species, the male upperside is yellow and the female white. It is rather localised and I have only seen it in a few locations, and only in 2010 did I see it in more than ones or twos in any location. In 2012 (and subsequently in 2016), however, on a visit to the département of Savoie, palaeno was found to be distinctly more common.
ref sex

observations

alt. m
12238 M

a male.

2100
31316 M a male, better illustrating the solid black border, especially of the forewing. 1970
41913 M a male, rather paler yellow than normal and the ups black markings less contrasted as seen from the underside. 2010
45607 M a male, with very heavy unh dark scales giving it a very grainy appearance. 1830
17556 F

a female, the white colouring being quite apparent.

2000
27727 F a very pale female, possibly partially as a result of wear and loss of yellow scales. 2160

 

12238_male_Hautes-Alpes_8Jul08

 

31316_male_Savoie_18Jul12

 

41913_male_Savoie_24Jul16

 

45607_male_Savoie_14Jul18

 

17556_female_Hautes-Alpes_08Jul09

 

27727_female_Valais, Switzerland_22Jul11