Silky ringlet (Erebia gorge)
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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.
|13247_male_Valais, Switzerland_19Jul08||13254_male_Valais, Switzerland_19Jul08||44781_female_Alpes-Maritimes_22Jul17|
A very variable high-altitude Erebia species, with several distinctive but very different forms. I first saw gorge in 2007, then a life-tick, but there were many more at the same site in 2008. However, according to T&L, the nominate form occurs in Switzerland, where both of the above males were seen, and has twin small upf ocelli, whereas 13247 has only one. However, I cannot see what else it could be if not gorge, and Erebia ocelli are notoriously variable.
|The subspecies erynis is similar but has no ocelli and occurs (according to H&R) in the southern French Alpes and the Alpes-Maritimes. However, this species is highly variable, so no real conclusions can be drawn from a limited example.|
a male, with a single ocellus and a dark appearance, although brassy at the margins.
a male underside, highly variegated making for good camouflage. The photograph looks out of focus, but isn't.
|44781||F||I saw this heavily gravid female at the same location where several Sooty Ringlets (E. pluto) were flying and it originally seemed to me that it was likely to be a female pluto. However, it was in a region where nominate pluto occurred where the female is, according to the T&L illustrations, slightly less dark than the male but largely unmarked except for a pale and just discernible unf red post-discal band. 44781 did not seem be be even close to the T&L illustration for nominate pluto, but it did seem a better match for the pluto subspecies oreas, except that oreas only flies in the northern French Alpes in Haute-Savoie, so on the grounds of geography, it cannot be oreas. I had not originally considered gorge, even though it was known to fly in this location. On consulting H&R and T&L, the gorge subspecies erynis occurs in the Alpes-Maritimes, and 44781 matches exactly the illustration of female erynis. Hence I have included it on the gorge page and invite comment which, if to the effect that it isn't gorge, I would appreciate the rationale.||2650|