Pseudochazara amymone

Brown's Grayling

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2017

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Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Field notes and information

I never thought I'd see this mystic mysterious butterfly. Only known from vague references from Greece just north of Ioaninia from half a dozen individuals found in the early 1970s.

Great news that Eckweiler found it in neighbouring Albania just west of Greece thanks to recently improved accessibility to this formerly closed country.Here it seems to be extremely local but common where found.

Identification & Similar species: Very similar to the dark grayling P. mnizechii tisiphopne with which it flies. It is generally rather smaller, has only a single spot on the hindwing and on the underside hindwinghas a strong dark line separating the marginal area from the pale discal area and a mottled basal area.

Distribution & Flight: While data appears to be limited, it seems to have a fairly early flight time of end June and early July, extending into mid July at the higher end of the altitudinal range.

It is only (currently) known from Albania, although there are rumours of sites in Greece (notably L. Pamepris) but these locations are kept secret to reduce the risks from collecting. Despite many surveys over the years, Greek sites remain hidden.

We searched for 4 days in suitable habitats in early July 2016 to no avail - not helped by a very early season which may have put an end to the flight period before our arrival. One day it will be re-discovered in Greece.

Habitat & Behaviour: It frequents oliophitic geology with greenish rocks. Flowers are scarce but (not to our experience) the butterflies are attracted to them.

Extremely local on very steep rocky slopes, difficult or too dangerous to walk across. It may be quite common in one place, but just 50m further on a whole day can be spent without seeing it. This localisation has surely helped keep it hidden in Greece.

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

P. amymone showing one spot, a dark line and mottled basal area.

P. mniszechii showing two spots, a faint line and a rather uniform unmarked basal area.

P. amymone showing one spot.

P. mniszechii showing two spots.

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymonePhoto: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymonePhoto: amymonePhoto: amymonePhoto: amymonePhoto: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

There is an individual hiding in the shade under this rock.

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016

Photo: amymone

Albania, July 2016