Erebia cassioides

Common Brassy Ringlet


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

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Asturias Mts, Spain, July 2011

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Hautes Alpes, France, July 2013

Field notes and information

Sporadic across the higher mountains of Europe from north Spain to Romania and north Greece. Where it does occur it is usually widespread and common. Its range overlaps with most of the other brassy ringlets.

Identification & Similar species: The brassy ringlet group is very complex with 6 similar species in Europe. They never(?) fly together, although they may fly in close proximity, being separated for example by altitude. Species with overlapping ranges are listed below.

In west Switzerland and neighbouring north Italy it overlaps with Swiss brassy ringlet E. tyndarus. That species has no, or residual, orange spots on the hindwing upperside, more orange on the forewing and a more contrasting underside hindwing.

In parts of southwest Austria, it flies with de Lesse's brassy ringlet E. nivalis. The species are very similar, although the contrast on the underside hindwing will ususally help identifcation.

In southeast Europe it may fly close to the Ottoman brassy ringlet E. ottomana which is a larger and brighter butterfly. The orange is brighter, the female underside hindwing ground colour is brown and both sexes have a row of black spots in the post discal area.

Distribution & Flight: Sporadic from north Spain, Pyrenees, southeast France and western and eastern Alps (but absent from central Alps in Switzerland), central Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, FYROM and Greece. Flies from late June into September according to altitude and location.

Habitat & Behaviour: Grassy slopes with stones and rocks at alpine levels.

Variation: The form arvernensis is often considered as a separate species. This flies in the western end of the range in France, west Switzerland and north Spain.

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2013

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2013

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Asturias Mts, Spain, July 2011

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2013

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Hautes Alpes, France, July 2012

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Hautes Alpes, France, August 2012

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Asturias Mts, Spain, July 2011

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Hautes Alpes, France, August 2012

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Hautes Alpes, France, July 2012

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2015

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2015