Hipparchia pellucida

Eastern Grayling

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2018

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Photo: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Photo: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Field notes and information

In Europe recorded only from the Greek islands of Ikaria and Lesbos. We visited in June 2018, just before the publication of Coutsis & Bozano (2018) in Phegea. This article puts into question the true identity of the taxon on these Greek islands. While not concluding on the true identity, it is convincingly argued that this is most unlikely to be H. pellucida whose closest colonies are in eastern Turkey. It is proposed that it is more likely to be part of a species complex of H. volgensis and H. christenseni running through the Aegean islands. More work is needed.

Identification & Similar species: Very similar to the Hipparchia senthes, Balkan grayling, which usually has a white band on underside the hindwing and, on Lesbos only, Hipparchia mersina, Samos grayling, which much greyer and less mottled on the underside.

Distribution & Flight: Only from Ikaria and Lesbos, otherwise from central Turkey and eastwards. Displays typical Hipparchia behaviour, flying in late spring (June) then aestivating in the shade of trees at higher levels until the end of summer when they descend to lay eggs.

Habitat & Behaviour: Grassy rocky areas for breeding habitat, passing the summer aestivating at higher levels in shady trees.

Photo: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Photo: pellucidaPhoto: pellucidaPhoto: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Photo: pellucidaPhoto: pellucidaPhoto: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Photo: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Cameras with a screen are essential for tree hugging species.

Photo: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Photo: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Photo: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Prowling through the dark shade looking for butterflies.

Photo: pellucidaPhoto: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018

Photo: pellucidaPhoto: pellucida

Ikaria, Greeece, June 2018