Mnestra's Ringlet (Erebia mnestra)

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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.

13231_male_Valais, Switzerland_19Jul08 31153_male_Valais, Switzerland_12Jul12 41884_male_Savoie_24Jul16
41885_male_Savoie_24Jul16 41894_male_Savoie_24Jul16 41920_male_Savoie_24Jul16
22891_female_Valais, Switzerland_22Jul10 41925_male_Savoie_24Jul16 13288_male_Valais, Switzerland_19Jul08

A less common Erebia of the high altitudes, usually occurring above 1800m. I only saw it for the first time in 2008, in Switzerland, and until 2016 had not seen it in France, because my visits were principally to the southern French Alpes, and mnestra has a distribution principally in Savoie and Haute-Savoie. In 2016, in Savoie I came across it in several locations.

It is a smaller Erebia characterised by the strong and wide red upf and unf post-discal bands which have no (or pinprick) ocelli in the male (the female has two small upf ocelli) or may have very small ocelli according to H&R.

The upf post-discal band is often smooth-edged in the male but can be rather jagged on the external edge, and the female seemed to be like this only more so. It seems that this might be strong identification characteristic.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
13231 M

a male, taking salts. There is not even a hint of an upf ocellus.

2200
31153 M a male, posing obligingly to show the shape of the upperside red post-discal bands. 2090
41884 M a male, with vestigial pin-prick ocelli. 2010
41885 M a male, with two ocelli which, although small, can clearly be seen to have white pupils. 2010
41894 M a male, with quite wide upf post-discal red bands and very vestigial ocelli in s5. 2010
41920 M a male, with a rather jagged external edge to the upf red post-discal band, and ocelli in s4 and s5 that are blind but quite strong for this species. 2010
22891 F

a female, showing two small pupilled ocelli. The red post-discal band is particularly jagged externally.

2150
41925 M a male underside, the unh being almost completely plain brown and without a discernible discal line. 2010
13288 M

a male, the unf red post-discal band extending across almost the whole surface. The unh is characteristically plain brown and unmarked.

2200

 

13231_male_Valais, Switzerland_19Jul08

 

31153_male_Valais, Switzerland_12Jul12

 

41884_male_Savoie_24Jul16

 

41885_male_Savoie_24Jul16

 

41894_male_Savoie_24Jul16

 

41920_male_Savoie_24Jul16

 

22891_female_Valais, Switzerland_22Jul10

 

41925_male_Savoie_24Jul16

 

13288_male_Valais, Switzerland_19Jul08