Erebia aethiops

Scotch Argus


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2019

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2019

Field notes and information

A widespread and common species over much of its range. Flies rather later than most Erebia.

Identification & Similar species: The white/ cream banding on the underside hindwing is distinctive. Wing fringes are dull grey, in the female they are weakly chequered. The scent brand in the male is distinct. It emerges later in the year than most butterflies so it appears fresh when most others are worn.

Distribution & Flight: Hills and mountains of central and eastern France to Belgium and eastwards to Russia and the northern Balkans. Outlying populations in Scotland and two sites in northern England. Flies from the end of July.

Habitat & Behaviour: Grassy places and meadows usually associated with woodland or scrub. Can be found at very low levels for this genus - I've found it at sea level in northwest England and 500m in Switzerland. I generally find it around 1000 to 1500m. Larvae feed on various grasses.

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2019

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2022

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Bern, Switzerland, August 2020

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2020

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Bern, Switzerland, August 2020

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Vaud, 600m, Switzerland, August 2006

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2019

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Isère, France July 2008

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2019

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2019

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2019

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Vaud, Switzerland, July 2006

Male, scent brand distinct.

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Valais, Switzerland August 2016

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2013

Trombidium breei parasitic mite, common on Satyrid butterflies in summer grasslands.

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2006