Lefèbvre's Ringlet (Erebia lefebvrei)

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2021 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

48213_female_Hautes-Pyrénées_7Jul21

48226_female_Hautes-Pyrénées_7Jul21

A rather rare and elusive Erebia of the high Pyrénées, at least it has eluded me for many years and the one on this page is the first time I had seen one and remains the only one I have seen.

 

It is fairly readily identifiable, given that a number of other Erebia fly in company with it, by the very large ocelli (both in the male and female) that are toward the outer edge of the red post-discal band (unusually not present on the one example on this page).

It is apparently notoriously difficult to approach as it favours rocky scree, in common with several other high altitude Erebia.

 

The subspecies astur has no, or limited, red post-discal band but this only flies in the Picos de Europa in the north-west of Spain. This subspecies also has reduced ocelli.

ref

sex

observations

alt. m

48213

F

a very unusual female in that it is uniformly black with very large black-ringed ocelli and very large white centres. In terms of colouring, it resembles the subspecies astur, although the ocelli are typical (I say this on the basis of one individual plus what it shown on trusted books and websites) of nominate lefebvrei. It could not possibly be astur, given that it was seen a very considerable distance from the Picos. I chanced upon it by pure accident when I asked someone what they were intently photographing, so an enormous thank you to YK. 48213 was motionless and open-winged in overcast conditions, settled on lichen-covered rock, but when it started to rain, it calmly closed its wings and walked a few centimetres to as spot where it was sheltered from the rain, and then closed its wings. 48226 is the underside, having taken up the sheltered position. I had certainly not expected to see lefebvrei in this location and I was subsequently informed by the local expert (JL) that it had not been seen at that locality for 20 years.

2040

48226

F

the underside of 48213.

2200

 

48213_female_Hautes-Pyrénées_7Jul21

 

48226_female_Hautes-Pyrénées_7Jul21