Striped Grayling (Hipparchia fidia)
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2017 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
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
It is perhaps surprisingly large when seen in the field.
a very lightly coloured male.
a male, in a typical pose, unfortunately next to a discarded plastic bag in a car park.
|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|
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.
|42127||?||a rather darker specimen.||680|