Sooty Copper (Lycaena tityrus)

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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.

8503_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_24Jul07 36797_male_Var_14Sep14 17207_male_Alpes-Maritimes_04Jul09 - subalpinus
8511_female_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_24Jul07 33277_female_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_1Jul13 7371_female_Alpes-Maritimes_24Jun07 - subalpinus
36805_male_Var_14Sep14 19022_male_Lozère_26Aug09 11808_male_Alpes-Maritimes_30Jun08 - subalpinus
26366_male_Alpes-Maritimes_06Jul11 14061_female_Var_28Aug08 33178_female_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_30Jun13
   
17147_female_Alpes-Maritimes_03Jul09 - subalpinus    

This species seems to be quite widespread, appearing in most localities I have visited in France, but not in great numbers. The female has the usual upperside copper markings, but the male is uniformly dark brown with some orange submarginal marks, with the upf black markings showing up clearly. The male underside often has a silvery-grey-white ground colour with a “square” corner at the hindwing anal angle, whereas the female is more rounded, with heavier, more orange markings.

A delightful little butterfly that seems quite easy to follow as it has a habit or returning to the same place. It has wide altitude range, from lowland areas, up to 2000m or more. At high altitudes in the Alpes, the dark, almost black, subspecies subalpinus predominates; this is true for both sexes.
ref sex

observations

alt. m
8503 M

a fresh (perfect white margins) and fairly typical male of the nominate form, with slightly stronger than normal orange lunules especially on the upf.

700
36797 M a male, fairly normal, the unusual feature being that it was seen in a lowland location (see the altitudes for other specimens) not far from the coast. Last year in September I saw a rather worn female egg-laying there, the first time I had seen tityrus in this location that I had visited regularly over most of the past decade, and in a region where no sightings had been recorded within about 30km. 36805 is the underside. 20
17207 M

a male of the subspecies subalpinus.

1875
8511 F

a typical, if slightly worn, female of the nominate form.

700
33277 F a typical female, albeit not quite fresh. 1250
36805 M a male, the underside of 36797. 20
7371 F

a female upperside of the subspecies subalpinus, with slightly stronger than normal marginal markings, even a slight hint of orange, on both the upf and uph.

2100
19022 M

a male of the nominate form.

480
11808 M

a male of the subspecies subalpinus.

2100
26366 M a fresh male, the delicate beige ground colour contrasting nicely with the black markings and the submarginal orange band. 1000
14061 F

a typical female of the nominate form.

780
33178 F a female underside, the unf being rather more orange than the norm. 1250
17147 F

a female of the subspecies subalpinus, very fresh and with beautifully subtle colouring.

1875

 

8503_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_24Jul07

 

36797_male_Var_14Sep14

 

17207_male_Alpes-Maritimes_04Jul09 - subalpinus

 

8511_female_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_24Jul07

 

33277_female_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_1Jul13

 

7371_female_Alpes-Maritimes_24Jun07 - subalpinus

 

36805_male_Var_14Sep14

 

19022_male_Lozère_26Aug09

 

11808_male_Alpes-Maritimes_30Jun08 - subalpinus

 

26366_male_Alpes-Maritimes_06Jul11

 

14061_female_Var_28Aug08

 

33178_female_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_30Jun13

 

17147_female_Alpes-Maritimes_03Jul09 - subalpinus