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Places / France / Languedoc-Roussillon / Lozere / Saint-Maurice-de-Ventalon
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Mont Lozère, Parc National des Cévennes, Lozère, France

Order : Lepidoptera
Family : Lycaenidae
Sub-Family : Lycaeninae
Genus : Lycaena
Species : Lycaena virgaureae

Lycaena virgaureae is found at altitudes up to 2000m in alpine pastures and woodland clearings. This small to medium size butterfly has a wingspan of 34-38mm. When the sun is out it is very active but will sometimes spend several minutes nectaring on a particular flower. When feeding or basking in the sun they typically hold their wings at a 45° angle and adopt a head-downwards posture similar to other species in the same family.
The upperside of the sexes are very different, with the male being the most colourful with a striking bright orange colouration, especially when fresh like this one. The female is paler with numerous black markings. The undersides are very similar and the flying period is from June to September.

All my insect pics are single shot and handheld, usually in the wild.

Tags:   butterfly butterflies mariposa papillon farfalla Schmetterling бабочка animal outdoor insects insect Lepidoptera macro nature Lycaenidae Lycaena virgaureae Scarce Copper Lycaeninae wildlife Lozère Mont Lozère Parc National des Cévennes live insects France

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Mont Lozère, Parc National des Cévennes, Lozère, France

Order : Lepidoptera
Family : Papilionidae
Subfamily : Papilioninae
Genus : Papilio
Species : Papilio machaon gorganus

This large butterfly is widespread across Europe and is present in most parts of the Palaearctic Region. It is by far the most widespread Papilionidae species in the world. It has a wingspan of 65-85mm and is a strong and fast flier. Both sexes look very similar but the female is generally slightly larger. Males can sometimes be seen mud-puddling for minerals and salts. The species utilises a wide range of different habitats from fenland to alpine meadows and even high altitude montane areas.
Larval foodplants are various species from the Apiaceae, Asteraceae and Rutaceae families. Eggs are laid singly on the upper foliage and the resulting larvae look very much like bird droppings in their early stages, a quite common trait in the Papilionidae family. Later instars become magnificent-looking creatures, large and green coloured with black banding and orange spots.

All my insect pics are single, handheld shots of live insects in wild situations.

Tags:   butterfly butterflies mariposa papillon farfalla Schmetterling бабочка animal outdoor insects insect Lepidoptera macro nature Papilionidae Papilio machaon Swallowtail Papilioninae wildlife Lozère Mont Lozère Parc National des Cévennes live insects France

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Mont Lozère, Parc National des Cévennes, Lozère, France

Order : Lepidoptera
Family : Nymphalidae
Genus : Argynnis
Species : Argynnis paphia

A very widespread species that is found throughout most of Europe, the Caucasus, Russia, Turkey, Iran, parts of Central Asia, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and India. It is a powerful flier and one of the larger fritillaries with a wingspan of 70-80mm. The species is sexually dimorphic with the upper wings of the male having dark streaks which contain androconial scales that release the pheromones which attract females during courtship. The undersides are very similar in both sexes.
They are a shade loving species and favour woodland habitats, although they are sometimes seen on scrubland and hedgerows. They like areas where brambles, thistles, knapweed, and other nectar sources are in abundance. Both sexes also imbibe aphid honeydew, particularly from the surface of oak leaves high in the canopy where they roost overnight. Males also puddle for minerals at damp patches on the forest floor and sometimes at the side of streams. Eggs are laid in the bark of oaks and occasionally in other trees at around two metres above ground level. Moss-covered mature trees are favoured. When the larvae hatch in late summer they immediately go into a state of diapause until the following spring when they descend to the forest floor in search of Viola riviniana (Common Dog-violet), the primary foodplant. Adults emerge around June and July.

All my insect pics are single, handheld shots of live insects in wild situations.

Tags:   butterfly butterflies mariposa papillon farfalla Schmetterling бабочка animal outdoor insects insect Lepidoptera macro nature Nymphalidae Argynnis paphia Silver-washed Fritillary wildlife Lozère Mont Lozère Parc National des Cévennes live insects France Viola riviniana Common Dog-violet


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