Bright-eyed Ringlet (Erebia oeme)

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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.

8233_male_Vaud, Switzerland_20Jul07 38420_female_Lozère_12Jul15 38422_female_Lozère_12Jul15
 
38637_female?_Pyrénées-Orientales_17Jul15 8983_female_Hautes Pyrénées_9Aug07  

Some forms of Oeme have very characteristic white-pupilled ocelli especially in the upf s4 and s5, although I suspect it gets its name from the distinctive unh ocelli with clear white pupils - H&R describes these white pupils as "conspicuously brilliant". The ocelli of the female are larger and brighter on both surfaces. The subspecies spodia from the eastern Alpes and the Balkans has very large and bright ocelli, but unfortunately the name is a often a misnomer for the nominate oeme, at least when viewed from the upperside (e.g. 38420). I had previously believed spodia occurred in the Pyrénées on the grounds that the ocelli, especially the on the unh, were exceptionally large and bright (e.g. 38637), but this appears simply to be a variation of the nominate species. I can find no indication of a specific Pyrénéan subspecies or form.

 

The underside could be confused with the Woodland Ringlet (E. medusa) although medusa has four unh ocelli to oeme's five (arranged evenly), and the underside of the oeme antennal club is black (brown in medusa). Oeme is generally an altitude species, while medusa's range is from sea level to as high as 1800m, although it appears that their distributions do overlap in some areas.

In some populations oeme can have very small ocelli, even blind (with no white pupils) which can lead to confusion in identification, especially with the Yellow-spotted Ringlet (E. manto), although my feeling is that if oeme ocelli are blind, they are still quite large i.e. not pinpricks, and that the surrounding red post-discal bands hug the ocelli quite closely, compared with manto where the red bands can be quite wide. 18845 on the manto page is an example.

 

It should also be noted that some individuals of the Almond-eyed Ringlet (E. alberganus) can have quite bright pupils in red spots that are quite rounded and decidedly not lanceolate and, as such, can look very much like oeme. However, oeme does not have a upf ocellus in s2 whereas alberganus does.

 

 

 

ref

sex

observations

alt. m

8233

M

a rather worn male, which I believe to be oeme.

1440

38420 F a female, with ocelli, especially the unh, rather brighter than the male in 8233. 1540
38422 F a female, with ocelli probably about average for oeme. 1540
38637 F a female from the eastern Pyrénées with exceptionally large and bright unh ocelli. 1820

8983

F

a female, I suspect, showing the series of large ocelli on the unh.

1700

 

8233_male_Vaud, Switzerland_20Jul07

 

38420_female_Lozère_12Jul15

 

38422_female_Lozère_12Jul15

 

38637_female?_Pyrénées-Orientales_17Jul15

 

8983_female_Hautes Pyrénées_9Aug07