Striped Grayling (Hipparchia fidia)

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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.

13695_male_Vaucluse_22Aug08 13891_male_Vaucluse_24Aug08 44325_male_Var_16Jul17
44361_male_Var_16Jul17 19151_sex?_Hérault_28Aug09 42127_sex?_Bouches-du-Rhône_23Aug16

A very distinctive jagged “V” shape in the unh discal line, and a quite light underside generally, makes fidia easy to identify. Prior to 2009 I saw it only rarely, once in 1999, another singleton in 2003, and not again until 2008 when I saw several in two localities in the Vaucluse, and once in northern Var.

 

I usually see fidia in the latter part of August when it is beginning to show signs of wear, a pity because it is very appealing when fresh. However, in 2017 I visited the site in western Var in mid-July and was pleased to find that fidia was present in reasonable numbers (maybe five or more) and that it was relatively fresh.

It seems to be becoming increasingly uncommon even in its stronghold areas. However, in 2009 I travelled across the Cévennes in late August and it was encountered in several locations. In subsequent years I have seen it in localities in the west of Var and further west, but nearly always in small numbers. The distribution appears to be split into three main areas as indicated by Lafranchis: http://diatheo.weebly.com/hipparchia-fidia.html.

It is perhaps surprisingly large when seen in the field.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
13695 M

a very lightly coloured male.

410
13891 M

a male, in a typical pose, unfortunately next to a discarded plastic bag in a car park.

280
44325 M a male puddling in a muddy water hole that was once wet but by mid-July was just damp and muddy. 44325 is fidia at its most appealing, clean grey colouring and strong markings. 680
44361 M another male from the same location as 44325 but very much browner in colour and with less contrast. This may indicate that it is, in fact, a female just taking moisture. 680
19151 ?

this may well be a female, because it was at the end of the flight period but also because it was rather browner in colouring, which may or may not be indicative.

360
42127 ? a rather darker specimen. 680

 

13695_male_Vaucluse_22Aug08

 

13891_male_Vaucluse_24Aug08

 

44325_male_Var_16Jul17

 

44361_male_Var_16Jul17

 

19151_sex?_Hérault_28Aug09

 

42127_sex?_Bouches-du-Rhône_23Aug16