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Erebia mnestra

Mnestra's Ringlet

Field Notes

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

 

Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

 

Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

 

Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

 

Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

 

Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

 

Valais, Switzerland, July 2007

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2004

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2005

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2005

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2005

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2005

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2005

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2005

The very close resemblance to the False Mnestra Ringlet,
E. aethiopella
is apparent here.

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2005

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2004

Male showing serrated edges of forewing orange band.

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2004

Classic mnestra (almost) without ocelli in the fw orange band.

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2004

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2004

Mal-formed insect showing extensive unf orange.

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2004

Same mal-formed butterfly.

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2004

Female that looks very close to False Mnestra Ringlet, E. aethiopella

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2004

Same female as above showing ocelli on the hindwing.

 

Valais, Switzerland, June 2004

 


The upperside has a large orange band is serrated on the outer edge in the male and would not normally contain ocelli in mnestra. At least that's the theory. In reality small spots, usually not pupilled, can be present on both wings. The underside forewing is conspicuously orange all over and again lacks ocelli (usually). The underside hindwing is uniform and lacks any strong markings in the male, although the shadow of a post discal band may be visible. Only the female has any marks of note - two ocelli in the upperside forewing orange band and a hint of a grey band on the underside hindwing. In fact, the female looks very close to the False Mnestra Ringlet, E. aethiopella to the point that without location data I wouldn't be sure I could separate the two species.

All this said mnestra is a smart and distinctive butterfly that just doesn't conform to all the typical Erebia patterns!

 

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