Erebia pluto

Sooty Ringlet

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: pluto

Hautes Alpes, France, July 2013

Photo: pluto

Valais, Switzerland, June 2005

Field notes and information

This is a really dark butterfly that characteristically flies over screes or areas dominated by rocks at high altitudes. It is very local and I've not seen it very often. It is also difficult to approach, being very sensitive to shadow and dark approaching lepster shaped silhouettes. Usually it is encountered at high altitudes although the books say it can be found below 2000m.

Identification & Similar species: It is a fairly large species. The ground colour is very dark black and it is often devoid of markings. Some subspecies have diffuse orange colouration and others have spots.

Distribution & Flight: It only flies in the Alps and central Italy. From mid June, at even atltitudes as high as 2400m to July and August.

Habitat & Behaviour: Typically it flies near or on rocky moraines and screes where sparse grasses can grow deep in the rocks.

Photo: pluto

Hautes Alpes, France, July 2013

Photo: plutoPhoto: pluto

Valais, Switzerland, June 2005

Photo: plutoPhoto: pluto

Hautes Alpes, France, July 2013

Photo: pluto

Hautes Alpes, France, July 2009

Photo: pluto

Hautes Alpes, France, July 2008

Photo: pluto

Hautes Alpes, France, July 2008

Habitat, but far too dangerous to attempt any butterfly photography on these screes.