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Apatura ilia

Lesser Purple Emperor

Field Notes

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Ain, France, June 2007

 

Geneva, Switzerland, June 2009
Taking slats from animal excrement.

 

Geneva, Switzerland, June 2005

 

Rila Mts, Bulgaria, July 2004

 

Isère, France, July 2006

 

Isère, France, July 2006

 

Isère, France, July 2006

 

Slovensky Kras, Slovakia, July 2001

 


This is the slightly smaller cousin of the Purple Emperor, A. iris. It is just as stunning. The upperside of the male has similar optical effects with a bright mauve/ purple sheen when viewed from certain angles. The underside lacks the prominent white triangle of iris. It has similar habits to iris, taking salts from mud, dead animals, faeces, sweat etc. and flying high in the trees most of the time. I have found it in the centre of Lyon, France and other urban places so perhaps it has less exacting requirements for habitat than iris.

 

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