Lasiommata meadewaldoi

Moroccan Wall Brown

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: maera meadewaldoi

High Atlas, Morocco, July 2005

Photo: maera meadewaldoi

High Atlas, Morocco, July 2005

Field notes and information

This appears to be a fairly uncommon taxon of the High Atlas mountains in Morocco. It may well be a subspecies of the European large wall brown, L. maera.

It flies at high altitudes, reaching staggering levels of 3500m or more. Flying over barren slopes it is attracted to the occasional thistle that grows at these altitudes. The one photographed above was found at 3000m at the end of the day when the sun was rapidly loosing strength and a chill was already becoming apparent. Thus I could approach and photograph an otherwise powerful and shy butterfly.

Identification & Similar species: The markings are rich and bold and the eyespots are spectacular. Separated from similar species by the very large forewing apical eyespot and its overall size.

Distribution & Flight: Only from the Toubkal massif in the High Atlas of Morocco. Single brooded in June/ August.

Habitat & Behaviour: Very high barren slopes with sparse vegetation.

Photo: maera meadewaldoi

High Atlas, Morocco, July 2005