Sunday, 17 June 2018

European Road Trip Day 19- Apollo Butterfly in the Alps

So after setting fire to itself last week our VW T5 campervan has decided to play up again today with the engine emission warning light coming on which scuppered our plans to try an ascent to a 3500m nearby glacier by road. As it was a Sunday it wasn't possible to get the problem sorted either so we were left hanging around Prutz. 

Nonetheless it turned into a great day, firstly because Jacob walked today for the first time- did at least six or seven steps and secondly because I found an Apollo Butterfly in the hills just up from our campsite. 

Once again a few provisional ids- please step in with corrections especially the Fritillaries! 

 View over Prutz from adjacent slope
 Northern Wall Brown- smaller than Large Wall Brown with distinctive irregular transverse discal and basal and discal lines in upperwing 
 Closest I can get on this one is Knapweed Fritillary (above and below) of the Southern Alps alternans form with a lack of post discal spots (more of a Mellicta upperwing pattern) and a distinctive row of post discal orange spots on the hind underwing. Also a broken mid line in the discal band and no contrast in the sub-margin and outer margin. 

 This one looks good for High Brown Fritillary with large discal spots on upperwing and distinctive white-pupiled, reddish-brown post discal spots on underwing and white pearls on sub-margin of underwing

 The small size contrast between the yellowish margin and paler sub-margin lunules, combined with the reddish post-discal band suggests either a female Nickerl's or Assman's Fritillary
 Arran Brown- the distinctive under hind-wing markings makes this relatively easy to identify  
 Lulworth Skipper - hopefully that black line in the upper forewing excludes all other similar looking skippers in the region 
 Clouded Apollo 
 Apollo- the only shot I could get as it was mainly flying round. I actually heard the sound of its wing as it took off! Was hoping to sneak this in on this trip.
Five-spot Burnet type 
 Our third camp site of the trip- not a particularly great site but certainly in a great location 
View over Prutz. If the van holds up will be heading down that valley in the background tomorrow. 

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