Marbled Ringlet (Erebia montana)
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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.
|23094_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10||23110_male_Valais, Switzerland_25Jul10||3340_male_Alpes-Maritimes_29Jul06|
|27755_male_Valais, Switzerland_22Jul11||3395_female_Alpes-Maritimes_29Jul06||23099_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10|
A late emerger, coming out in mid-July and restricted (in France) to the eastern Alpine départements, its lower altitude limit being 1400m. I had not seen it before 2006, and only in one remote location then, when it was about the only species present. It was rather smaller than I had expected but very appealing when fresh.
|The upperside is quite similar to the Autumn Ringlet (E. neoridas) but the uph ocelli are much more pronounced, and the underside, from which the butterfly gets its English name, is different from nearly every other French Erebia, and the female as usual is lighter. Despite travels through the Alpes in 2007-9, I had not seen montana since, although in 2010 I encountered a few males in Switzerland, much more of the size I would have expected, and in 2011 it was quite numerous in several localities. I have seen it since, most recently in 2016, but always in small numbers.|
a male, taking salts. The external edge of the red upf post-discal band is quite concave giving it a clearly jagged appearance. It was quite a large and dark individual.
male upperside, the narrow width of the red upf band indicating male. The uph ocelli are very close to the bottom edge of the red post-discal series of somewhat jagged patches, unlike most book illustrations. Similarly, the books show a upf ocellus in s2, not present here.
|27755||M||a male, rather dark but also quite worn.||2160|
a female, with the characteristic wider red upf post-discal band than the male.
a male, the underside of 23094. The patterning says montana but it is very dark generally (c.f. 3332) and has little contrast across the discal line.
the darker male underside, with the unmistakeable "marbling" effect.
the typical female underside, lighter and more obviously "marbled". Note that the female hindwing is slightly scalloped.
|27706||PAIR||a mating pair, the female on the right. This shot shows up the differences between the undersides of the sexes. This female seems a more typical montana underside than 3356, in my limited experience.||2160|