Almond-eyed Ringlet (Erebia alberganus)

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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.

12101_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_7Jul08 17532_male_Hautes-Alpes_08Jul09 11859_female_Alpes-Maritimes_1Jul08
30386_female_Alpes-Maritimes_4Jul12 12168_female_Hautes-Alpes_7Jul08 7622_pair_Alpes-Maritimes_26Jun07

Unlike most Erebia species, it is almost impossible to confuse alberganus with any of its cousins, except perhaps the Woodland Ringlet (E. medusa), but alberganus is an altitude species occurring at altitudes greater than 800m whereas medusa occurs from sea level and, although its can be found up to 1800m, it has very limited distribution in the French Alpes, being generally found in eastern central France. I have found alberganus to be quite widespread, very common in most localities, making it by far the most common Erebia species I have encountered, and I have found this to be true every year since 2006.

In some cases the Bright-eyed Ringlet (E. oeme) could be confused with alberganus; more about this on the oeme page.

The female is slightly larger, as is normal for most species, and the red marks slightly larger with small white centres to the ocelli, whereas the males usually have no (or minute) white centres, although 12101 seems to contradict this.

The subspecies tyrsus, which is characterised by the brighter colouring and bolder markings, occurs in the western Alpes.

 

ref sex

observations

alt. m
12101 M

a male, based on body shape, despite the relative lightness of the brown ground colour, which would normally indicate female. The upf and uph pupils are white and quite conspicuous, probably about as bright as alberganus gets.

2200
17532 M

a typical male.

2000
11859 F

a female, seemingly the converse of 12101 as it is very dark for a female (compare the pair 7622 below) but clearly female based on body shape (although the degree of curvature of the body can be deceptive when viewed at this angle). I believe this may be of subspecies tyrsus.

1400
30386 F clearly a female based on body shape and markings, and typical for this species. 1900
12168 F

a female, based on the lightness of the ground colour (although not totally indicative, as noted elsewhere on this page) and from what is visible of the body shape.

1750
7622 PAIR

a mating pair, female at the top. This shows that the female is a slightly lighter brown than the male, even allowing for any camera angle effects. The male ocelli have small white centres.

1875

 

12101_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_7Jul08

 

17532_male_Hautes-Alpes_08Jul09

 

11859_female_Alpes-Maritimes_1Jul08

 

30386_female_Alpes-Maritimes_4Jul12

 

12168_female_Hautes-Alpes_7Jul08

 

7622_pair_Alpes-Maritimes_26Jun07