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In Alpine regions there is a wide variety of fritillaries. At first sight, many of them are looking just pretty much the same. They would reveal to us their differences and identities only when we take the chance to look at their undersides of wings.
In state of activity, many alpine fritillaries prefer to expose their wings widely open to the sun, even when sitting on flowers drinking nectar or licking minerals from the ground. So it is not always easy to see their hidden parts.
There is a species that is showing some phantastic colours and markings underneath. It is not seen very often and in small numbers only:
Boloria titania cypris (Meigen, 1828)
Titania’s Fritillary, Natterwurz-Perlmutterfalter, Nacré porphyrin …
Wing span: 40 – 43 mm
Like many fritillaries, Boloria titania (Esper, 1793) shows a scattered area of distribution: Central parts of the Alps, Southern Poland, Balkan, Southern Finland, Northern Baltic states, Siberia Transbaikal, Mongolia Sachalin, North America. The similar looking Boloria chariclea (Schneider, 1794) of northernmost Fennoscandia, Siberia, Labrador, Greenland is considered by some authors to be an arctic subspecies of B. titania.
B. titania cypris, the boldly marked alpine race, is a butterfly of mountain forests, reported from elevations of 800m to 1600m. Flying in one generation from June to August, its caterpillars feeding on Polygonium distorta.
Taken at an elevation of 1500m at Untenlehn near the mountain village of Gries, Längenfeld, Oetztal valley. The orchid seems to be Dactylorhiza maculata, growing in large numbers this year.
The upper side.
Tom Tolman, Richard Lewington: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas. Stuttgart 1998
Christopher Jonko: Butterflies and Moths of Europe. http://www.lepidoptera.pl/
Xaver Finkenzeller: Alpenblumen, München 2003
SONY DSC-HX1, 3456 x 2592 pixels, sRGB, 14mm macro zoom (equivalent 78 mm at full size SLR), F/4, 1/160sec., ISO-125, close distance, hand held, no flash. 09.07.2009, 13:02.
Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to web, selectively resharpened, levels slighty adjusted.
Thank you for looking.
Have a very good day.
|Altered Image #1|
|B.titania on Dactylorhiza maculata. Oetztal valley at 1500m a.s.l., coniferous mountain forest facing south, cool weather, cloudy day. |
SONY DSC-HX1, 3456 x 2592 pixels, sRGB, 5mm wideangle zoom (equivalent 28 mm at full size SLR), F/4, 1/200sec., ISO-125, bias: -0.3, close distance, hand held, fill flash. 09.07.2009, 13:02. Postwork: Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to web, selectively resharpened, levels slighty adjusted.
Hope you enjoy.