|www. BUTTERFLIES IN ITALY .com|
|Homepage||Species List - Scientific||Species List - English||« Previous||Next »|
|YEAR LIST 2014 followed by EXCURSION NOTES 2014 plus photos|
|26.01.2014||1||Small Tortoiseshell. Aglais urticae||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|06.02.2014||2||Red Admiral. Vanessa Atlanta||Pomarolo, Trentino. Italy|
|22.02.2014||3||Large Tortoiseshell. Nymphalis polychloros||Rovereto, Trentino, Italy|
|23.02.2014||4||Nettle-tree butterfly, Libythea celtis||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|23.02.2014||5||Comma, Polygonia c-album||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|06.03.2014||6||Brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni||Rovereto, Trentino, Italy|
|06.03.2014||7||Peacock, inachis io||Rovereto, Trentino, Italy|
|08.03.2014||8||Wall, Lasiommata megera||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|28.03.2014||9||Green-veined White, Pieris napi||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|29.03.2014||10||Orange Tip, Anthocharis cardamines||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|29.03.2014||11||Scarce Swallowtail, Iphiclides podalirius||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|29.03.2014||12||Small White, Pieris rapae||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|29.03.2014||13||Speckled Wood, pararge aegeria||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|29.03.2014||14||Camberwell Beauty, Nymphalis antiopa||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|29.03.2014||15||Green hairstreak, Callophrys rubi||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|29.03.2014||16||Dingy Skipper, Erynnis tages||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|29.03.2014||17||Queen of Spain Fritillary, Issoria lathonia||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|29.03.2014||18||Swallowtail, Papilio macchaon||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|29.03.2014||19||Holly Blue, Celastrina argiolus||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|29.03.2014||20||Wood White, Lepidea sinapis||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|05.04.2014.||21||Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, Hamearis lucina||Avio, Trentino, Italy|
|05.04.2014.||22||Small Copper, Lycaena phlaeas||Avio, Trentino, Italy|
|05.04.2014.||23||Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Clossiana euphrosyne||Avio, Trentino, Italy|
|06.04.2014||24||Grizzled Skipper (Southern), Pyrgus malvae malvoides||Beseno, Trentino, Italy|
|06.04.2014||25||Southern Small White, Artogeia mannii||Beseno, Trentino, Italy|
|10.04.2014||26||Small Blue, Cupido minimus||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|10.04.2014||27||Chequered Blue, Scolitantides orion||San Colombano, Rovereto, Italy|
|13.04.2014||28||Small Heath, Coenonympha paphilus||Pomarolo, Italy|
|17.04.2014||29||Berger's Clouded Yellow||San Nicolo' Rovereto, Italy|
|22.04.2014||30||Large White, Pieris brassicae||San Nicolo' Rovereto, Italy|
|22.04.2014||31||Green Underside Blue, Glaucopsyche alexis||San Nicolo', Rovereto, Italy|
|23.04.2014.||32||Mallow Skipper, Carcharodus alceae||Servis, Pomarolo, Trentino, Ita;ly|
|01.05.2014||33||Common Blue, Polyommatus icarus||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|01.05.2014||34||Brown Argus, Aricia agestis||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|06.05.2014||35||Safflower Skipper, Pyrgus carthami||Servis, Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|11.05.2014||36||Large Skipper, Ochlodes venatus||Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy|
|11.05.2014||37||Glanville Fritillary, Melitaea cinxia||Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy|
|12.05.2014||38||Spotted Fritillary, Meltiaea didyma||Val dei Mocheni, Trentino, Italy|
|12.05.2014||39||Sooty Copper, Lycaena vigaureae||Val dei Mocheni, Trentino, Italy|
|17.05.2014||40||Black-veined White, Aporia crataegi||Dietro Beseno, Trentino, Italy|
|17.05.2014||41||Woodland Ringlet, Erebia medusa||Dietro Beseno, Trentino, Italy|
|18.05.2014||42||Heath Fritillary, Mellicta athalia||Servis, Pomarolo, Trentino, Ita;ly|
|18.05.2014||43||Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui||Servis, Pomarolo, Trentino, Ita;ly|
|24.05.2014.||44||Adonis Blue, Lysandra bellargus||Laghi di Lamar, Trentino, Italy|
|24.05.2014.||45||Silver-studded Blue, Plebejus argus||Laghi di Lamar, Trentino, Italy|
|24.05.2014.||46||Mazarine Blue, Cyaniris semiargus||Laghi di Lamar, Trentino, Italy|
|25.05.2014||47||Large Wall, Lasiommata maera||Cimana, Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|31.05.2014||48||Geranium Argus, Eumedonia eumedon||Moietto, Trentino, Italy|
|31.05.2014||49||Blue-spot Hairstreak, Satyrium spini||Moietto, Trentino, Italy|
|01.06.2014||50||Pearly Heath, Coenonympha arcania||Cembra, Trentino, Italy|
|01.06.2014||51||Marbled White, Melanargia galathea||Cembra, Trentino, Italy|
|07.06.2014||52||Silver-washed Fritillary, Argynnis paphia||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|07.06.2014||53||High Brown Fritillary, Argynnis adippe||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|07.06.2014||54||Twin-spot Fritillary, Brenthis Hecate||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|07.06.2014||55||Ilex Hairstreak, Satyrium ilicis||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|07.06.2014||56||Marbled Fritillary, Brenthis daphne||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|07.06.2014||57||Meadow Brown, Maniola jurtina||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|08.06.2014||58||Clouded Apollo, Parnassius mnemosyne||Cimana di Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|15.06.2014||59||Chequered Skipper, Carterocephalus palaemon||Serrada, Trentino, Italy|
|20.06.2014||60||Amanda's Blue, Agrodiaetus amanda||Val Venosta, Italy|
|20.06.2014||61||Alpine Heath, Coenonympha gardetta||Val Venosta, Italy|
|21.06.2014||62||Mountain Green-veined White, Artogeia bryoniae||Val Venosta, Italy|
|24.06.2014||63||Dewy Ringlet, Erebia pandrose (NEW SPECIES FOR THIS SITE)||Pasubio, Trentino, Italy|
|26.06.2014||64||Essex Skipper, Thymelicus lineola||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|26.06.2014||65||Woodland Grayling, Hipparchia fagi||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|26.06.2014||66||Dark Green Fritillary, Argynnis aglaja||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|26.06.2014||67||Knapweed Fritillary, Meltitaea phoebe||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|26.06.2014||68||Woodland Brown, Lopinga achine||Servis, Trentino, Italy|
|30.06.2014||69||Thor's Fritillary, Clossiana thore||Val dei Mocheni, Trentino, Italy|
|05.06.2014||70||Poplar Admiral, Limenitis populi OR (Purple Emperor, Apatura iris) Exact identification?||Pasubio, Trentino, Italy|
|06.07.2014||71||Apollo, Parnassius apollo||Cimana di Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|06.07.2014||72||Clouded Yellow, Coleas croceus||Cimana di Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|12.07.2014||73||White Admiral, Limenitis camilla||San Colombano, Trentino, Italy|
|12.07.2014||74||Great Sooty Satyr, Satyrus ferula||San Colombano, Trentino, Italy|
|15.07.2014||75||Stygian Ringlet, Erebia styx (NEW SPECIES FOR THIS SITE)||Malga Pulzom, Trentino, Italy|
|16.07.2014||76||Lesser Marbled Fritillary, Brenthis ino||Monte Finonchio, Trentino, Italy|
|16.07.2014||77||Ringlet, Aphantopus hyperantus||La Guardia, Trentino, Italy|
|23.07.2014||78||Southern Gatekeeper, Pyronia cecilia (NEW SPECIES FOR THIS SITE)||Sonnino, Latina, Italy|
|23.07.2014||79||Grayling, Hipparchia semele||Sonnino, Latina, Italy|
|24.07.2014||80||Southern White Admiral, Limenitis reducta||Circeo, Latina, Italy|
|24.07.2014||81||Cleopatra, Gonepteryx cleopatra||Circeo, Latina, Italy|
|28.07.2014||82||Scarce Copper, Lycaena virgaureae||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||83||Purple-edged Copper, Lycaenae hippothoe||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||84||Lesser Mountain Ringlet, Erebia melampus||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||85||Niobe Fritillary, Argynnis niobe||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||86||Almond-eyed Ringlet, Erebia alberganus||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||87||Titania's Fritillary, Clossiana titiana||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||88||Swiss Brassy Ringlet, Erebia tyndarus||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||89||Silver-spotted Skipper, Hesperia comma||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||90||Mountain Clouded Yellow, Colias phicamone||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||91||Small Apollo, Parnassius phoebus (NEW SPECIES FOR THIS SITE)||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||90||Shepherds Fritillary, Boloria pales||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||92||Marsh Fritillary, Eurodryas aurinia (debilis)||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||93||Peak White, Pontia callidice (NEW SPECIES FOR THIS SITE)||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||94||Moorland Clouded Yellow, Colias palaeno||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||95||Grisons Fritillary, Mellicta varia (NEW SPECIES FOR THIS SITE)||Rabbi, Trentino, Italy|
|28.07.2014||96||Map, Araschnia levana||Zagreb, Croatia|
|09.08.2014||97||Large Chequered Skipper, Heteropterus morpheus (NEW SPECIES FOR THIS SITE)||Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy|
|09.08.2014||98||Eastern Bath White, Pontia edusa||Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy|
|09.08.2014||99||Short-tailed Blue, Everes argiades||Palmanova, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Ital|
|09.08.2014||100||Great Banded Grayling Kanetisa circe||Val Rosandra, Trieste, Italy|
|09.08.2014||101||Purple Hairstreak, Quercusia quercus||Val Rosandra, Trieste, Italy|
|14.08.2014||102||Lesser Purple Emperor, Apatura ilia||Zagreb, Croatia|
|20.08.2014||103||Common Glider, Neptis sappho||Zagreb, Croatia|
|07.09.2014||104||Chalkhill Blue, Lysandra coridon||Folgaria, Italy|
|10.09.2014||105||Dryad, Minois Dryas||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
|10.09.2014||106||Tree Grayling, Neohipparchia statilinus||Pomarolo, Trentino, Italy|
Early January: Despite exceptionally mild weather and some sunny days, the one or two short walks that I had time to do resulted in no sightings of any butterflies.
January 26th: A walk up the hill towards Pedersano at the back of my village. A cold but bright day. I was pleased to come across 4 small tortoiseshells sunning themselves and flitting around in different locations.
February 2nd: There has been a lot of rain recently in the valley (and a lot of snow on the high mountains in the region). Today was the first sunny day for about a week, and it was mild, too. In between lessons, I managed to squeeze in a short run / walk up the hill at the back of my village. Here are two pictures of the local snow-capped mountains. (here, here). I was expecting to see more Small Tortoiseshells on the wing, but there were none. I did come across 2 Red Admirals in different spots, though. Here is a photo of one of them.
February 22nd: No butterflies sighted for 20 days, despite managing to get out mid-afternoon on two occasions on sunny days. Today, however, while my wife was at the hairdressers, I went for a walk and was pleased to come across my first Large Tortoiseshell of the season (photo from a distance). It was a sunny but very windy day, and snow had fallen on the nearby mountains during the night. The spot I had chosen for my short excursion was a little hill with the ruins of a castle on the edge of the town of Rovereto, down in the valley (view). Although the Large Tortoiseshell would not let me get anywhere near (maybe my bright red jacket had something to do with it), a Red Admiral didn't seem to be bothered how close I got as it sunned itself on a sheltered branch (photo, photo). There were also a couple of Small Tortoiseshells flying around (photo) and a Humming-bird Hawkmoth (photo).
February 23rd: The weather forecast was sunny and warm with much less wind than yesterday - in fact, the best day so far this year for butterfly hunting. The only problem was finding time to do it! In between helping out in the preparation for the village's carnival celebrations in the morning, dressing up in a grass skirt and playing with the local band in the afternoon, I did manage to find an hour at lunchtime to get up on the hill adjoining the village (photo showing part of the village and Monte Stivo, the higher mountain behind it). My efforts were rewarded with another sighting of a Large Tortoiseshell, several Small Tortoisehells, two Red Admirals, a Comma (photo), the first this year, and three early Nettle-tree butterflies (photo of one of them).
March 6th: Finally a period of sunny, warm days and a short walk near Rovereto brought sightings of 6 Brimstones, 4 or 5 Commas, a Peacock, which zoomed past without stopping, 3 or 4 Large Tortoiseshells and a single Nettle-tree butterfly.(Sorry no photos of any of these.) I was a little disappointed, because the area where I started off my walk, basically a stony river bed which had become covered with quite dense vegetation over the years and where I have seen numerous species of butterfly, had been 'cleaned' (photo). Fields had been covered with stones to make car access easier and the whole area looked sterile and barren. The only interesting things I saw were these moths (photo, photo) - dozens of them making short flights and then settling to feed on the damp ground.
March 8th: Another warm, sunny day and I went on a late morning walk on the hill above the village where I live. There were lots of Brimstones around, none of them ever stopping, 5 or 6 Small Tortoisehells, 1 Peacock (photo), 5 or 6 Commas, a couple of white butterflies - I presume Green-veined, but I never got close enough to see them clearly, 5 Red Admirals, 4 or 5 Nettle-tree butterflies (photo - and on main species page) and between 15 and 20 Large Tortoiseshells (photo)! I have never seen so many flying as this year. At one spot, there were 8 or so, using a rotting tree as a source of food/moisture and as a convenient place to sun themselves (photo). On my return, I spotted the first Wall butterfly of the year.
March 29th: My first confirmed sighting in Italy of a Camberwell Beauty! (exactly what I was looking for today!) It was about 11am on a warm but slightly breezy day. There was just one single butterfly, which stopped on the ground for a few seconds, took off again before settling twice more ... but never long enough for a photo. Pity! Here is a photo of the location.
Although I did wait around and did actually get another sighting of the same butterfly from a bridge as it glided below along the course of the stream, it didn't stop for any more chances of a photo. There were lots of other species about, though: Brimstones, Orange Tips, Green Hairstreaks (photo), Speckled Woods (photo), lots of Large Tortoiseshells, most now looking rather worn, a couple a Holly Blues, Green-veined Whites, one or two Wood Whites, Swallowtails and Scarce Swallowtails, one Dingy Skipper (photo) and finally a Queen of Spain Fritillary (photo). I also saw 6 or 7 Tau Emperor moths clumsily making their way through the trees. (See 2013 excursion notes for good photos of these)
I decided to drive about 25 km to a valley similar to the one where I had spotted the Camberwell Beauty last weekend. It was a dull day with a few moments of veiled sunshine, but I was surprised with how much was flying. My first find was some Duke of Burgundy fritillaries (photo), followed by a Small Copper (photo). Then my first Pearl- Bordered fritillary of the year (photo). It was a good day, too, for Orange Tips (photo of female), Brimstones (photo), Green-veined Whites (photo) Walls (photo) and Speckled Woods (photo). Having walked down the valley towards the village of Avio, I decided to try a bit further upstream, where there was a picnic spot and the stream was a bit more accessible. My luck was in: one single Camberwell Beauty gliding above the rocks and occasionally settling to soak up some warmth. I managed to get the some photos (and my feet and tracksuit wet as I slipped in the water, trying to get closer!) before the butterfly got fed up with my presence and flew off. Here is one photo and here is another. It was now very cloudy and threatening rain, so I also headed home.
An hour-and-a-half of free time in the middle of a beautiful, hot, sunny day and I returned to the spot near Rovereto where I spotted the first Camberwell Beauty of the season (see 29th April). On approaching the edge of the stream I was immediately greeted by half-a-dozen or so Small Blues (photo) and 3 or 4 Dingy Skippers that were on the gravel taking moisture. Nearby, a Chequered Blue appeared and flitted around with a couple of Green Hairstreaks. Unfortunately, before managing to get a photo, it disappeared. It was a good day for Swallowtails with dozens of both Macchaon and Scarce Swallowtails (Podalirius) feeding together (photo), but what I was probably most pleased about was finding this newly-hatched male Emperor Moth (photo). I had bred them from caterpillars at the age of about ten, and not having come across any since then, I had forgotten how beautiful they were (photo). Finally just before I had to get back to work, a single Camberwell Beauty flew quickly past me and out of sight - presumably the same one as I had seen nearly 2 weeks before. Presumably its main resting places were further along the stream at a point where I couldn't get to.
At 6.30 in the evening a phone call from a neighbour who had seen me taking photos of butterflies on her allotment a week or so ago, got me out of the house to go and see a large moth that had appeared in her porch. At first I thought that it was a freshly-emerged female Emperor moth to match my picture of two days ago of a male Emperor moth, but after checking I realised it was a Giant Peacock moth (Saturnia pyri) (photo). The moth had emerged from its coccoon, which had been made in the wide crack in the log just to the right of the photo (photo). The log was being used as a plant pot holder. Anyway, I picked up the moth to avoid it being attacked by three cats that had become interested in what was going on) and deposited it on a tree on the hill just above the houses (photo, photo).
Camberwell Beauty Day! With the promise of a sunny afternoon, I returned at about 12.45 to the valley where I saw the Camberwell Beauty eight days ago. Sure enough, there was the same butterfly (I am pretty sure) looking slightly worn, sitting in the same spot as on my last visit. (photo) Ten minutes later another fresher-looking adult came along and chased the (presumably) older butterfly off. Luckily for me, it liked the 100m of stream where we were and positioned itself on the rocks with its wings open to absorb the warmth from the still weak sunshine (photo), occasionally flying off to return to another rock somewhere nearby. As the day warmed up, the butterfly started venturing off the rather colourless rocks onto the branches of some bushes or trees (photo). Here are some more photos showing the butterfly and the location: (photo, photo, photo,). A thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying couple of hours in the presence of a fantstic butterfly! (.... and this time I didn't fall in!)
Went out for a short walk in a valley at the back of Rovereto. A lovely sunny day, even if the wind was a bit cool. Amazing! More Camberwell Beauties in this third location, which is even closer to home! Here is one which settled on a rock near me (photo). Interesting how the light on the closer hindwing has made the blue spots appear pink. Here are two other photos (here) (here). And here is a photo of a very worn-looking butterfly that must have come out of hibernation much earlier than the others (photo). For the records, I also saw a couple of Berger's Clouded yellows on the wing, plus lots of Green Hairstreaks, Brimstones, Orange Tips and Dingy Skippers.
Picnic at the same location as five days ago along with my daughter and nearly five-year-old grandson. Lots of Scarce Swallowtails on the wing along with Orange Tips, Brimstones, and a couple of Berger's Clouded yellows. I also saw scores of Tau Emperor moths dodging about between the trees and managed to get this photo of a mating couple (photo). New sightings were one Large White and one Green-underside Blue, and washed up on a rock were the remains of this female Emperor moth (photo). When we arrived back at the car, we found this, I believe, Processionary moth caterpillar sitting on my rucksack (photo).
Another brief picnic on the hill behind my village, just before the rain started, and in the grass was a Chequered Blue (photo) and a Mallow Skipper (photo).
A period with a lot of rain and no free time has meant that I haven't been able to get out much. I managed to go for a walk on a local hill for a couple of hours and, as well as my first sighting of a Brown Argus and a Common Blue, I had fun taking some photos of a Pearl-bordered Fritillary. (Photo)(photo). (See main species pages for others). On the way back down to the car, I came across another Camberwell Beauty sitting on the stone wall of a bridge over a stream. I cannot believe that I haven't seen this species before (until this year in four different locations) in over 20 years of walking in the same areas!
An early evening walk in a local grassy meadow, with flowers now appearing, and sitting on a stem of grass was this lovely Safflower Skipper (photo)(photo). Other butterflies included Green-underside Blues and Common Blues.
May 10th - 11th
A weekend trip with the village band for a competition down in Fiuggi, Lazio, gave the opportunity to go for a short run along a country lane near the town. Although I was expecting to see a few species not yet out in the north of Italy, where I live, there was nothing of any interest not seen so far this year. My sightings only included a few Brimstone, Orange Tips and a Common Blue. I had slightly better luck on the way back, when the coach stopped for a long lunch break in Montepulciano in Tuscany. As well as spotting a few Green-underside Blues, Small Blues and Common Blues, new species for the year consisted of some Large Skippers (photo) and a Glanville Fritillary.
An afternoon visit to the Val dei Mocheni resulted in sightings of a Spotted Fritillary (photo) and a pair of Sooty Coppers. Here is a photo of a male and here a female. It was with great pleasure that I came across at least 4 other Camberwell Beauties at various locations along the walk.
A warm sunny morning before it started clouding over in the early afternoon. The most common species about today were Brimstones, Sooty Coppers, some Duke of Burgundy Fritillaries in a corner of a field (photo) and one or two Glanville Fritillaries (photo). New sightings for the year were 3 or 4 Black-veined Whites (photo) and one single Woodland Ringlet (photo) in a meadow at about 1000m asl. I was surprised to see some Large Tortoiseshells still flying.
A hot, but windy, afternoon walk through the grassy meadows around the Laghi di Lamar, a 20-minute drive from Trento (photo). Lots of butterflies on the wing including Small Heaths (everywhere), Speckled Woods, Brimstones, Orange Tips, Duke of Burgundy Fritillaries, Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, Queen of Spain Fritillaries, Commas, a Camberwell Beauty (photo), Common Blues, Adonis Blues, Silver-studded Blues (photo), Mazarine Blues, Small Blues, Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, Large, Small and Wood Whites.
Today was our turn to work in the mountain house, run by the 'Pro-loco' - the local village social committee - at 1,300m on the mountain at the back of our village (photo)(photo). In between cutting up vegetables, working on the cash till and serving up coffee, I went for two 20-minute walks.through the surrounding fields. The most common butterflies were Pearl-bordered and Duke of Burgundy fritillaries (photo), but there were not as many, or such a variety of Blues around as yesterday. The only new species was a single Large Wall.
A trip up to a grassy meadow at about 1,100m (photo) on the other side of the valley (photo). Lots of species flying today, but only two new species for the year: Blue-spot Hairstreaks and Geranium Arguses. This rotting tree also provided some interest, with hundreds of green beetles (cotinis nitida, I believe) (photo), 3 Red Admirals, one Comma and 2 fresh Large Tortoiseshells feeding on it. As well as the 2nd generation Large Tortoiseshells around , it was also nice to see a couple of freshly-emerged Nettle-Tree butterflies, but they were sitting, as usual, high up on the top branches of a tree, so out of camera reach. Species seen not already mentioned were: Common, Adonis, Small, Green Underside, Mazarine and Chequered Blues, Wood and Black-veined Whites (photo), Grizzled, Dingy and Safflower Skippers, Heath, Glanville, Pearl-bordered, Spotted and Duke of Burgundy Fritillaries, Brimstones, Speckled Woods, Small Heaths (always everywhere!), Woodland Ringlets (photo of a female with a damaged wing), Small Tortoiseshells and Brown Arguses.
June 7th A hot sunny day and lots of butterflie around in the grassy meadows on the hill above our village. New species for the year were Silver-washed Fritillary, High Brown Fritillary, Marbled Fritillary (photo), Meadow Brown (photo), Ilex Hairstreak (photo) and Twin-spot Fritillary (photo). I wasn't out until quite late in the morning, so most species were very active and difficult to get close to for better photos.
June 8th As on May 25th, it was again our turn to help out at the village 'mountain house' at 1,300m altitude. This is usually my June hunting-ground for Clouded Apollos (photo, photo) and sure enough there were lots flying in the afternoon when I finally got the time to walk through the flowery meadows. There were also great numbers of Sooty Coppers, Duke Of Burgundy Fritillaries (photo), Queen of Spain Fritillaries and Large Whites around. I was also pleased to see some Pearly Heaths (photo), which I'd never seen in this location before.
June 20th-22nd A 3-day camping break in Val Venosta, in the extreme north of Italy, where we went for a couple of fairly high altitude walks (1,700-2000m). On the whole, apart from the fantastic scenery and the fresh air (sometimes very fresh!), from a butterfly point of view I was slightly disappointed, expecting to find some species only found on the mountains in the far north of the country. However, it's still probably too early in the season for many species to be out, especially considering the heavy snowfalls this winter. During the first walk we went on (photo), on the mountain near Latsch, I saw some Amanda Blues (photo) Alpine Heaths (photo), Grizzled Skippers, Woodland Ringlets (here is a photo of a female) and Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (photo), but not a lot else.
In the evening, a nice surprise just outside the washrooms was this Pine Hawk-Moth (photo).
Butterfly sightings during the second day's walk in Val Martello (photo) included Mazarine Blues (lots), Large Walls, Heath Fritillaries, Chequered Skippers (photo) and Mountain Green-veined Whites (photo).
June 24th In between exams, I got in an afternnon walk up a mountain (Monte Pasubio) nearer home, hoping to see some of the higher altitude species that I hadn't found last week. I was very pleased to come across a single Dewy Ringlet (photo) (others on main page) at 1,900m altitude, my first ever encounter with this species. (Here is a photo of the location, with a view of the remaining snow in the background). I was also lucky enough to find in my path the largest group of Black-veined Whites I'd ever seen together (photo).
June 26th A late afternoon walk near our village brought first-time-this-year sightings of Dark Green Fritillaries, Essex Skippers (photo), Knapweed Fritillaries, a single Woodland Grayling, and Woodland Browns (photo). There were also lots of Silver-washed Fritillaries, Marbled Whites and Ilex hairstreaks flying. and
June 30th Taking advantage of a free afternoon and following morning we drove to the end of the Val dei Mocheni and went for two walks, both finishing at just over 2000m asl. I was amazed at how late everything was. There were still patches of snow around and much of it had obviouisly only melted recently leaving flattened brown grass with only the first green shoots of fresh vegetation pushing through. Here is a view of Lago Erdemolo (still half frozen over!)(photo) and Rifugio Sette Selle (photo). Good exercise and great views but a disappointing excursion as far as butterfly-spotting was concerned.. The only new species for the year was Thor's Fritillary (photo)(photo) with by far the most common butterflies being Woodland Ringlets (photo).
July 5th. I had three objectives in returning to Monte Pasubio: the first was to look for Poplar Admirals (I had photographed one here last year later in the season), the second was to get some better photos of a Dewy Ringlet, and the third was to see if there were any more higher altitude species around at 1,700 -2,200m asl. On the way up, I kept my eyes a few metres in front of me, hoping to see Limenitis populi taking moisture from the ground, as had happened on my previous encounters with this species. However, just nearing the end of the area where I had hoped to find one, I was paying more attention to where I was putting my feet, than what was ahead of me. At that very moment, a very large dark butterfly zoomed up into the air (and into the sun, so I couldn't make out the colours!) and soared off over the trees. From its size, and the way it flew, the butterfly, which had ben feeding on some sheep droppings, could only have been a Poplar Admiral or (female) Purple Emperor. Despite further searching and returning to the same spot several times over the next hour, the butterfly did not come back. (The large number of people using the same path, and cars driving up the nearby track, obviously did not help - which is why I always try to avoid butterfly excursions on Sundays, if I can.) A pity that I wasn't able to see the butterfly clearly enough to tell exactly what it was! My second objective of photographing more Dewy Ringlets (photo) brought more success (I saw 3 of them - more photos on main species page), despite the fact that it was now getting very cloudy and much cooler. My walking up to 2,200m (photo) brought nothing more in terms of new species for the year. The most common butterflies around included, Green-veined Whites, Alpine Heaths, Woodland Ringlets, Marbled Whites, Black-veined Whites and Small Tortoiseshells, with the occasional Pearl-Bordered Fritillary or Grizzled Skipper appearing.
July 7th. We are in Cimana di Pomarolo helping out at the village junior band's summer camp. A break in the morning and the opportunity to walk through the meadows brought sightings of some Apollo butterflies (photo)(photo). The last time I had seen any Apollos here had been four years previously. And finally - a Clouded Yellow - hard to believe, but the first this season! Other common species included Meadow Brown, Woodland Brown, Black-veined White and Essex Skipper (photo).
July 16th. Searching for Poplar Admiral at 1000m. No sign of anything, until just about to return home, when a large dark butterfly decended from the trees, glided gracefully overhead and disappeared behind a tree. Again, I only got a one-second view into the sun, but from the shape of the wings (more rounded hindwings than a Purple Emperor, I believe), the pattern of white markings and the way it flew, I am 90% sure it was a Poplar Admiral. I obviously waited and searched, but the butterfly had vanished and didn't return.
July 23th-24th. A three-day trip down to Lazio gave me the opportunity to see what was flying on a mountain (photo) which I had last walked on over 30 years before. The most exciting find was the presence of Southern Gatekeepers (photo), my first experience of this species. In fact, at first sight, I thought they were a strange form of Small Heath, but when they rested with their wings wide open, they were obvious;ly Gatekeepers. Other common species around were Graylings (photo), Woodland Graylings, Marbled Whites, Mallow Skippers (photo) and this single Marbled Fritillary (photo). A few hours on the coast the next day produced a couple of Southern White Admirals (photo)(photo) and several Cleopatras, which unfortunately didn't settle for a photo. Time was short, otherwise I would have climbed Monte Circeo to see if Two-tailed Pashas were still thriving there.
July 28th. A good day! I got up at 6am to drive to the Val di Rabbi to look for some higher mountain species and particularly to see if I could find some Small Apollo butterflies. I started walking at 8pm and got to my first site at 1,500m (photo) just as the sun was breaking through the rainclouds. The warmth after the rain immedeiately brought out some Purple-Edged Coppers, some Scarce Coppers (photo) and Lesser Mountain Fritillaries (photo). A few yards further on, there were Dark Green Fritillaries and Niobe Fritillaries feeding together on the dirt track. As I climbed higher, it began to cloud over again and I just managed to get in some photos of this Titania's Fritillary (photo) and this viper (photo), which I nearly trod on, before it began to rain and I had to shelter under a rock for 20 minutes. It soon brightened up and a few butterflies came out again including this Almond-eyed Ringlet (photo) and this Swiss Brassy Ringlet (??)(photo). Now at 2,100m, it began to rain again and I had to shelter again, this time in the doorway of a wooden mountain hut. My only company was a nearby marmot that kept whistling loudly to warn of my presence. An hour later the sky cleared and I was able to carry on and after crossing this raging torrent (photo), I was rewarded with what I had been looking for - this magnificent female Small Apollo (photo). I saw two, or maybe three, flying along with ordinary Apollos, but they all stayed within about a 30 metre long stretch of hillside. At the same spot there were also Shepherd's Fritillaries and a Mountain Clouded Yellow. It was now about 3pm and I had to decide whether to start making my way down or to carry on up to higher ground. I carried on, now in the rain, but once again when I got to my target site, the sun broke though for a few minutes, long enough to bring out a few butterflies, including this Marsh Fritillary (photo) and a new species for me - a Peak White (See main species page for photos.) On the long walk down to my car, I saw little else apart from this Moorland Clouded Yellow (photo), one of three seen during the day.I was back at the car at about 7.15, ready for a 90-minute drive back home. A tiring, but very satisfying day!
August 9th I was driving from Feltre southwards and thought I saw a Lesser Purple Emperor settle by the side of the road. So, I stopped a little bit further on by the side of the River Piave very near Dobbiadene in the hope of finding others. No luck in seeing any Lesser Purple Emperors, but my first sighting of the year of an Eastern Bath White (photo), and then, completely unexpectedly as I was walking back through the trees, I spotted this lovely fresh example of a Large Chequered Skipper (photo) - my first ever experience of this species (see main Species Pages for other photos) - a butterfly which is totally unmistakable. Here is a photo of the location (here). Continuing my journey, I took this photo of a Short-tailed Blue near Palmanova. (photo)
August 14th In Zagreb. I succesfully found several Lesser Purple Emperors flying near the River Sava just west of the city centre. The first two proved very difficult to approach but the third was much friendlier (photo) and settled on my hand, my old, sweaty camera bag (photo) and then my bike handlegrip (photo). (See main species page for other photos). Just east of the city centre, again along the river were several Map butterflies (photo).
September 10th. Finally, the opportunity to go for a local walk in Trentino. Lots of Dryads (photo) around and Queen of Spain Fritillaries (photo). I was also pleased to find a very small area where there were a number of Tree Graylings sunning themselves, the first time I have seen them in my local area. Here is a mating couple (photo).
September 26th. The weather has gradually improved over the last few days with hot, dry, clear days and much colder nights, so here is a list of the butterflies spotted on the local hillside (200m-600m) from 12pm to 3pm: Dryad, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Woodland Grayling, Wall Brown, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Mazarine Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Silver-Washed Fritillary, Berger's Clouded yellow, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White.
OCTOBER - NOVEMBER
The weather has been wonderful over the last few weeks with bright clear days, often with temperatures above 20° C in the middle of the day.
November 1st. Butterflies still flying in the local area included the following: Peacock, Clouded Yellow, Small White, Comma, Common Blue, Brimstone, Small Heath, Small Copper and lots of Red Admirals.
November 22nd. The weather is now distinctly cold, but still plenty of Red Admirals around and the odd Clouded Yellow.