Yellow-spotted Ringlet (Erebia manto)
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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.
A butterfly of principally the Alpes and Pyrénées, although there are other populations of different subspecies in Europe. The shots from the Alpes and Switzerland are of the nominate form with the characteristic unh yellow spots quite well-developed. The shots from the Pyrénées and Cantal are of the subspecies constans in which the male is uniformly dark brown on both the upperside and underside and the female has greatly reduced yellow spots on the unh.
The nominate form is relatively easy (certainly in the case of the female) to identify from the underside, whereas the upperside is not so clear-cut; the upf has two blind ocelli in s4 and s5 with surrounding red post-discal band, often of distinctly lanceolate shape so that the red patches are not quite merged, and often a red patch with no ocellus in s3. There is sometimes a small ocellus or vestigial red patch in s2.
There is some difficulty, in my inexperienced eyes, at least, in differentiating some manto specimens from the Eriphyle Ringlet (E. eriphyle), which occurs in Switzerland (but not, it is believed, in France), although I have never seen it. Well, not knowingly. The red/orange manto marks on the manto hindwing, both upperside and underside, vary quite considerably, from being complete to occurring only in s4. The key identification feature of eriphyle is that the mark in s4 is significantly larger than the others; this is true for some specimens on this page but I do not feel they are eriphyle, mainly because the shape is rather manto-like. However, 18854 looks perfect for eriphyle, as does 18858 to a lesser extent. However, eriphyle does not occur in France, so that problem solves itself. See also the page for the Lesser Mountain Ringlet (E. melampus).
could also possibly be confused
Bright-eyed Ringlet (E. oeme)
because the upf oeme ocelli can be small and blind, although the oeme
red patches surrounding the ocelli are rather narrower.
H&R refers to this as
oeme subspecies lugens. However, I have limited experience and have not been able
to compare uppersides of manto and oeme with accompanying
underside shots which should be definitive with regard to identification. Hence
the uncertainty expressed below.
because the upf oeme ocelli can be small and blind, although the oeme red patches surrounding the ocelli are rather narrower. H&R refers to this as oeme subspecies lugens. However, I have limited experience and have not been able to compare uppersides of manto and oeme with accompanying underside shots which should be definitive with regard to identification. Hence the uncertainty expressed below.
I believe these blind ocelli are indicative of manto, and that oeme and alberganus can be eliminated.
a typical male manto.
a lightly marked male, with trademark vertical orange marking on the uph s4. As such, it looks to be a perfect candidate for eriphyle? Comment invited.
|38651||M||a male upperside of the subspecies constans, black and almost completely unmarked.||1730|
|38518||F||a female of the subspecies constans with very much reduced markings, although the T&L illustration shows the female to almost completely unmarked.||1650|
clearly a female, from the body shape, of the subspecies constans.
the angle and lighting of the photograph makes the orange markings appear less distinct, but they are unmistakeably manto.
very lightly marked, but the unf ocelli and red band, and the weak but slightly elongated unh orange mark in s4 are pointers to manto.
a typical and quite heavily-marked female, showing why it is so-named. The spots are so large they have fused to become a strong yellow-orange band. Impossible to confuse with any other species in France.
a mating pair from the Pyrénées, of the subspecies constans, the female on the left showing the reduced unh markings.