Peak White (Pontia callidice)

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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.

22974_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

22980_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

23023_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

23044_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

23047_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

30705_male_Hautes-Alpes_6Jul12

A butterfly of very high altitudes, normally above 2000m although Lafranchis says exceptionally as low as 1500m. It is allegedly not uncommon but it had eluded me until 2010. Lafranchis gives the principal flight period as July-August but most of the males I saw in 2010 were very near the end of their flight period by the fourth week of July.

 

The male is more lightly marked than the female, in much the same way as the closely-related Bath White (P. daplidice). Callidice could only be confused with daplidice, although altitude should be definitive in differentiating them. The callidice unh is unmistakable, appearing to be a series of arrowheads.

In the Swiss location where I saw them in 2010, there seemed to be some significant variation in terms of the discoidal spot.

 

Until 2012, I had only seen callidice in locations in Switzerland, the first sighting in France coming in 2012 at a site I had visited numerous times but usually later in July; a visit to this site in early July revealed a single fresh male, adding weight to the possibility that the flight period is largely over by mid-July.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
22974 M

a male with a rather large upf discoidal spot.

2200
22980 M

a male with a rather small discoidal spot.

2200
23023 M

a male.

2200
23044 M a male. 2200
23047 M

a male, the underside of 23044.

2200
30705 M a beautifully fresh male. 2550

 

22974_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

 

22980_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

 

23023_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

 

23044_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

 

23047_male_Valais, Switzerland_24Jul10

 

30705_male_Hautes-Alpes_6Jul12