Large Ringlet (Erebia euryale)

next page           back to list

2016 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

21983_male_Hautes-Alpes_12Jul10 18635_male?_Isère_15Jul09 13051_male_Valais, Switzerland_17Jul08
12202_male_Hautes-Alpes_8Jul08 26535_male_Alpes-Maritimes_08Jul11 27061_male_Hautes-Alpes_14Jul11
41314_male_Hautes-Alpes_14Jul16 35941_female_Hautes-Alpes_13Jul14 21893_male_Hautes-Alpes_11Jul10
41361_female_Hautes-Alpes_14Jul16 41643_male_Hautes-Alpes_16Jul16 13311_pair_Valais, Switzerland_20Jul08

This is quite superficially similar to, but usually (despite its name) smaller than, the Arran Brown (E. ligea) - see the ligea page for a comparison of features. The ocelli are either very small, usually blind, or even just pin-pricks, in the nominate form, but in the subspecies adyte the ocelli can be quite well developed, especially in the female.

 

T&L records adyte occurring in southern Switzerland although I feel that I encounter only this subspecies in the French Alpes. I strongly suspect that all of the photographs on this page are adyte.

 

H&R says that adyte replaces the nominate form in south-eastern France and I believe this to be true; it also says that the nominate form occurs in France in the Pyrénées and the Massif Central. On checking my records, I find I don't have any photographs of the nominate form, and in fact don't have any records of ever seeing it.

In the nominate form, the upf red post-discal bands are more separated into individual red marks, with pin-prick black ocelli. Also, in the female of the nominate form, the underside is lighter, especially in the post-discal region, giving clear contrast across this line.

 

The red upf post-discal band of adyte is more "solid" in appearance and often noticeably constricted at s3 where it is straight-edged on both sides and cut by the veins both above and below. The upf ocelli can vary from blind (i.e. no white centres) to quite pronounced as in 26535. The fringes are chequered, so the only other Erebia species it could be confused with is ligea, as no other Erebia species in France has chequered fringes.

 

This is a very variable species, even within the same locality, as indicated by the comments below. I have found it to be very common, often occurring in large numbers in both France and Switzerland. In 2010 I chanced upon over a hundred euryale puddling in one small spot. Often in these large groups, euryale is the only species puddling; they don't appear to be very sociable with other Erebia species.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
21983 M

it is puddling, so I had assumed it to be a male, but the body shape looks decidedly female. I am sure all the other euryale puddling there were males, as the undersides were visible.

1990
18635 M

this may possibly be a male of the nominate form. The illustration of the nominate form male as shown in T&L does not resemble anything I have seen in France or Switzerland. It may be the nominate form because the ocelli are fairly small and blind, but the red post-discal band is wide and strong, so adyte is more likely.

1850
13051 M

a typical male of the subspecies adyte.

1800
12202 M

a male, taking salts. The strong red upf post-discal band and bright ocelli initially suggested a Piedmont Ringlet (E. meolans) as did the darkness and strong ocelli of the underside, although the chequered fringes ruled this out. It is adyte and has very bright ocelli, looking unlike the illustrations (even of adyte) given in most books.

1990
26535 M a male, with a rather wide post-discal red band of almost constant width. The ocelli are rather large and somewhat flattened. The margins are generally quite dark, almost to the point of not being chequered. The other two in shot illustrate the variability of the band. 1400
27061 M a typical euryale, with almost blind ocelli and very clearly chequered fringes. 2020
41314 M a male, quite typical in terms of markings, but very fresh and clear chequered margins. 1960
35941 F a female, quite fresh and very clearly chequered fringes. 1990
21893 M

a male, on the basis of the absence of any white markings on the unh.

1750
13311 PAIR

a mating pair, female above, quite dark but showing the classic euryale dentate markings but with no ocelli. The male unh is almost unmarked.

2200
41361 F a freshly emerged female, drying her wings before her maiden flight. 1960
41643 GROUP a section of a very large group of euryale on the side of a bridge. Quite why they were all congregated there, given that it was dry and presumably impossible to extract any salts, is a mystery. 2170

 

21983_male_Hautes-Alpes_12Jul10

 

18635_male?_Isère_15Jul09

 

13051_male_Valais, Switzerland_17Jul08

 

12202_male_Hautes-Alpes_8Jul08

 

26535_male_Alpes-Maritimes_08Jul11

 

27061_male_Hautes-Alpes_14Jul11

 

41314_male_Hautes-Alpes_14Jul16

 

35941_female_Hautes-Alpes_13Jul14

 

21893_male_Hautes-Alpes_11Jul10

 

41361_female_Hautes-Alpes_14Jul16

 

41643_male_Hautes-Alpes_16Jul16

 

13311_pair_Valais, Switzerland_20Jul08