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Euchloe tagis

Portuguese Dappled White

Field Notes

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Andalucia, Spain, April 2009

Var, France, April 2007 & 2008

Var, France, May 2006

Var, France, May 2006

Var, France, May 2006

Var, France, May 2006

Provence, France, May 2004

ssp. bellezina
The gently curving hindwing costa is clearly visible here.

Provence, France, May 2004

Provence, France, May 2004

Provence, France, May 2004

Provence, France, May 2004

Again, see the gently curving hindwing costa

Provence, France, May 2004

Provence, France, May 2004

Provence, France, May 2004

Provence, France, June 2003

The gently curving hindwing costa is clearly visible here.

Tuscany, Italy, May 2003

ssp. calvensis

Tuscany, Italy, May 2003

Tuscany, Italy, May 2003

 


This butterfly is fairly widespread in France and Spain but its early flight time during the year has made it a difficult species to locate. It has also, allegedly, greatly declined and its colonies are now rare in France. I've only seen 3 examples of this species, one in France at a high altitude colony of the subspecies bellezina, and two in Tuscany of the subspecies calvensis. As this species is very variable, I am at a loss to know what the differences are between these subspecies although I believe the larvae are subtly different. There are other subspecies occurring in Spain, Morocco and Algeria.

It is a butterfly that flies with very close relatives, the Western and Eastern Dappled Whites, Euchloe crameri and ausonia. I've spent many many hours checking for tagis only to find crameri/ ausonia. These latter pair are completely undistinguishable in the field. However, they differ from tagis in several recognisable features (unbelievably I don't have any photos of crameri/ ausonia to illustrate these):

  • the definitive difference is the curvature of the hindwing costa - tagis is gently curving, crameri and ausonia have a distinct and often very obvious angle and is flat for most of the distance from the wing base

  • tagis is notably smaller and of more slight appearance

  • the underside hindwing is much more mottled with smaller, more numerous white spots in tagis

  • the underside hindwing white spots are more irregular and "whispy" in tagis, somewhat bold in crameri/ ausonia

 

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