Hipparchia hermione

Rock Grayling


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

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Burgos, Spain, July 2011

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Montes Universales, Spain, July 2011

Field notes and information

A widespread and often common species. It was formerly known as H. alcyone but that name has been found to be preceded by H. hermione.

Identification & Similar species: This is one of a group of species difficult to identify owing to individual variability. The following descriptions are not fully reliable. Reference to the julien organs surrounding the genetalia is reportedly definitive, but I've not had great success with this.

Woodland grayling, fagi: averagely larger. Internal edge of the underside hindwing white band curved. Underside forewing white band often without significant indent.

Rock grayling, hermione: internal edge of the underside hindwing white band straight (but with an large indent in the middle). Underside forewing white band often with significant indent just below the apical eye spot.

Lesser rock grayling, genava: as rock grayling hermione. I don't know of a reliable way to separate these two species.

Distribution & Flight: Sporadic from parts of Spain, France, Italy, Norway and central Europe east of Austria. Absent from the Balkans.

Habitat & Behaviour: Open woodland with grass. Often rests on tree trunks for shade during the hottest parts of the day and rocks to warm up.

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Var, France, July 2010

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Montes Universales, Spain, July 2011

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Var, France, July 2009

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Var, France, August 2004

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Sierra Nevada, Spain, July 2013

The Julien organ on the tail can be used to separate very similar Hipparchia.