Tree Grayling (Hipparchia statilinus)
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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.
On previous trips to southern Var in July I had seen statilinus only occasionally and in limited numbers and had assumed it to be not an abundant species. Lafranchis gives the flight period as August to mid-October, while T&L says the main flight period is late July to early August in southern localities, but having spent several recent summers in Var, it does not seem to emerge much before early August and its peak emergence is in September when it becomes extremely widespread and common. Statilinus often flies in company with the False Grayling (Arethusana arethusa).
|The underside is quite variable, especially the unh discal line, which is much stronger in the male which has a lighter post-discal band, giving a greater contrast, and the female often has a very faint discal line, sometimes almost non-existent. It really is a mis-named butterfly as it has very little connection with trees, usually settling in hot weather on roads or low ground, often stones and rocks, but usually in positions which make getting photographs difficult.|
|31461||M||a male, not entirely fresh, in typical pose.||1020|
a male, quite fresh and with a nice clear discal line.
|42158||M||a male with a nice strong discal line and generally quite dark in the marginal areas.||780|
a female, as indicated by the weak discal line.
a dull and rather battered female, interesting because it is egg-laying, although not clear on what.
a more attractive female with nice lightly contrasted markings.
a pair engaged in courtship, hence the open wings. The male is on the left and the female on the right with open wings, clearly identifiable from the upperside markings as female, as well on body shape.