Provence butterflies

During the middle of August 1999 we spent four or five days in the Luberon region of Provence in the south of France. This was the end of a fantastic trip including a week in the Alps in which we managed to see well over 100 species or Butterfly. In addition Mark Ogden ( sent in a list for a visit to the Mount Ventoux area, slightly further north.

Being August, and very hot, the most interesting species tended to be from the Satyridae (Browns) family. These seem to be able to deal well with the heat, seldom opening their wings and often angling their wings to leave no shadow. I guess brown colouration is good camouflage when the vegetation is rather dried out and brown.

Cleopatra - Gonepteryx rhamni Cleopatra - Gonepteryx rhamni Baton blue - Pseudophilotes baton Baton blue - Pseudophilotes baton
Autumn ringlet - Erebia neoridas Autumn ringlet - Erebia neoridas Striped grayling - Pseudotergumia fidia Striped grayling - Pseudotergumia fidia
Tree grayling - Neohipparchia statilinus Tree grayling - Neohipparchia statilinus Great banded grayling - Kanetisa circe Great banded grayling - Kanetisa circe
False grayling - Arethusana arethusa False grayling - Arethusana arethusa Dusky heath - Coenonympha dorus Dusky heath - Coenonympha dorus
Southern gatekeeper - Pyronia cecilia Southern gatekeeper - Pyronia cecilia



Species list for Luberon

Species: Scientific: First sighting: Last sighting:
Swallowtail Papilio machaon 19-Aug 19-Aug
Large white Pieris brassicae 18-Aug 18-Aug
Small white Artogeia rapae 18-Aug 18-Aug
Southern small white Artogeia mannii 19-Aug 19-Aug
Bath white Pontia daplidice 20-Aug 20-Aug
Pale clouded yellow Colias hyale 22-Aug 22-Aug
Clouded yellow Colias crocea 20-Aug 20-Aug
Cleopatra Gonepteryx cleopatra 20-Aug 20-Aug
Wood white Leptidea sinapis 19-Aug 19-Aug
Purple hairstreak Quercusia quercus 19-Aug 19-Aug
Small copper Lycaena phlaeas 19-Aug 19-Aug
Sooty copper Lycaena tityrus 19-Aug 19-Aug
Geranium bronze Cacyreus marshalli 18-Aug 18-Aug
Lang's short-tailed blue Leptotes pirithous 19-Aug 19-Aug
Holly blue Celastrina argiolus 20-Aug 20-Aug
Baton blue Pseudophilotes baton 19-Aug 19-Aug
Brown argus Aricia agestis 19-Aug 19-Aug
Chalk-hill blue Lysandra coridon 19-Aug 19-Aug
Adonis blue Lysandra bellargus 19-Aug 19-Aug
Common blue Polyommatus icarus 20-Aug 20-Aug
Southern white admiral Limenitis reducta 19-Aug 19-Aug
Painted lady Vanessa cardui 19-Aug 19-Aug
Silver washed fritillary Argynnis paphia 19-Aug 19-Aug
Weaver's fritillary Clossiana dia 22-Aug 22-Aug
Spotted fritillary Melitaea didyma 19-Aug 19-Aug
Heath fritillary Mellicta athalia 19-Aug 19-Aug
Woodland grayling Hipparchia fagi 19-Aug 19-Aug
Grayling Hipparchia semele 19-Aug 19-Aug
Tree grayling Neohipparchia statilinus 19-Aug 19-Aug
Striped grayling Pseudotergumia fidia 19-Aug 19-Aug
Great banded grayling Kanetisa circe 19-Aug 19-Aug
False grayling Arethusana arethusa 19-Aug 19-Aug
Scotch argus Erebia aethiops 19-Aug 19-Aug
Autumn ringlet Erebia neoridas 19-Aug 19-Aug
Meadow brown Maniola jurtina 18-Aug 18-Aug
Dusky meadow brown Hyponephele lycaon 19-Aug 19-Aug
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus 18-Aug 18-Aug
Southern gatekeeper Pyronia cecilia 19-Aug 19-Aug
Small heath Coenonympha pamphilus 18-Aug 18-Aug
Dusky heath Coenonympha dorus 19-Aug 19-Aug
Speckled wood Pararge aegeria 19-Aug 19-Aug
Wall Lasiommata megera 19-Aug 19-Aug
Carline skipper Pyrgus carlinae 19-Aug 19-Aug
Red underwing skipper Spialia sertorius 19-Aug 19-Aug
Mallow skipper Carcharodus alcae 22-Aug 22-Aug
Silver-spotted skipper Hesperia comma 19-Aug 19-Aug

Species list for Mount Ventoux area

VENTOUX & ENVIRONS 30/8/99 - 4/9/99
Meadow Brown Large White
Wall Small White
Large Wall Green Veined White
Tree Grayling Wood White
Great Banded Grayling Southern Small White
False Grayling Clouded Yellow
Woodland Grayling Pale Clouded Yellow
Rock Grayling Berger's Pale Clouded Yellow
Striped Grayling
Autumn Ringlet
Small Heath
Dusky Heath
Speckled Wood
Marbled White
Silver Washed Fritillary
Queen of Spain Fritillary
Weavers Fritillary
Glanville Fritillary
Provencal Fritillary
High Brown Fritillary
Scarce Swallowtail
Red Admiral
Southern White Admiral
Common Blue
Brown Argus
Adonis Blue
Chalkhill Blue
Long Tailed Blue
Baton Blue
Turquoise Blue
Chapman's Blue
Small Blue
Holly Blue
Short Tailed Blue
Idas Blue
Brown Hairstreak
Purple Hairstreak
Small Copper
Sooty Copper
Silver Spotted Skipper
Small Skipper
Mallow Skipper
Large Skipper
Large Grizzled Skipper
Oberthur's Grizzled Skipper





All pictures in these pages copyright to Simon Coombes. Permission must be sought and obtained for any use.