Erebia aethiops

Scotch Argus

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: aethiops

Isère, France July 2008

Photo: aethiops

Vaud, Switzerland, July 2006

Male, scent brand distinct.

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.

Photo: aethiops

Vaud, 600m, Switzerland, August 2006

Photo: aethiopsPhoto: aethiops

Valais, Switzerland, August 2013

Photo: aethiopsPhoto: aethiops

Valais, Switzerland, August 2013

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

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Vaud/ Valais, Switzerland, August 2010

Photo: aethiops

Rila Mts, Bulgaria, July 2004

Photo: aethiops

Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

Photo: aethiops

Vaud, Switzerland, August 2006

The egg was laid on a short grass head (approx. 10cm high) exposed in the middle of a track. Abundant long grasses in the meadow beside the track was ignored (at least while we were watching).

Photo: aethiops

Isère, France, August 2004

Photo: aethiops

Valais, Switzerland, September 2007