False Dewy Ringlet (Erebia sthennyo)

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2018 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.


A very local and uncommon Erebia limited in its distribution to the central Pyrénées. 43916 is the only sthennyo I have seen, despite several trips to the region. Other high altitude Erebia fly in company with sthennyo, including the Mountain Ringlet (E. epiphron), Gavarnie Ringlet (E. gorgone) and the Pyrénées Brassy Ringlet (E. rondoui). The Dewy Ringlet (E. pandrose), which it superficially resembles, also flies in a small area in the Ariège département of the eastern Pyrénées, and their ranges overlap slightly.

It can be differentiated from pandrose in that pandrose has a wide upf post-discal band with four ocelli and a clear discal line on the inside edge of that band. Also the red areas around the sthennyo ocelli tend to just "surround" the ocelli. The undersides are different, but as yet I do not have any images of sthennyo undersides.
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43916 M with numerous Erebia flying in the region, often difficult to photograph, my objective was to take photographs first and later assess what I had seen. This was not the moment to try to remove the intervening blade of grass!

It has been suggested that 43916 is actually epiphron, and not sthennyo, principally on the grounds that the upf series of post-discal spots should be nearer to the margin in sthennyo. This may well be true, although 43916 was flying in company with numerous epiphron but noticeably different in terms of its colour (43916 was much darker), the width of the red post-discal band (the epiphron bands were much wider), and to some extent the upf black post-discal spots (the epiphron spots were generally larger and many had white centres). I plan to revisit the location in 2019, when hopefully I will also be able to get an underside shot, which would be definitive as sthennyo and epiphron are very different.