The Butterflies of Rhône Alpes

Eight départements comprise Poitou Charentes, namely Ain, Rhône, Loire, Ardèche, Drôme, Isère, Savoie and Haute-Savoie.


Col de la Forclaz/Mt.Bogon, nr.Talloires,Annecy


To the east side of Lake Annecy, take the road up from Talloires to the Col de la Forclaz. Just past the stalls/shops at the Col, take footpath off to right, signed Mt.Bogon.


Swallowtail,Black-veined White,Dark-Green Fritillary,High Brown Fritillary,Silver-washed Fritillary,Titania's Fritillary,Heath Fritillary,Scarce Copper,Arran Brown,Large Wall Brown,Northern Wall Brown,Woodland Brown

Pete Smith


Col de Meraillet, nr Beaufort


From Albertville, take the D925 to Beaufort and stay on this road beyond Beaufort


Apollo,Black-veined White,Moorland Clouded Yellow,Sooty Copper,Purple-edged Copper,Large Blue,Northern Brown Argus,Chalkhill Blue,Dark Green Fritilary,Heath Fritillary,False Heath Fritillary,Almond-eyed Ringlet

Pete Smith

Cormet de Roselend, nr Bourg-St-Maurice


Between Beaufort and Bourg St Maurice along the D925-D217


Apollo.Black-veined White,Purple-edged Copper,Large Blue,Chalkhill Blue,Sooty Copper,Dark Green Fritillary,Mountain Fritillary,Heath Fritillary,Blind Ringlet,Mountain Ringlet,Alpine Heath,Carline Skipper

Pete Smith



Between Beaufort and Bourg-St-Maurice along the D925-D217


Apollo,Black-veined White,Pale Clouded Yellow,Sooty Copper,Purple-edged Copper,Osiris Blue,Idas Blue,Chalkhill Blue,Northern Brown Argus,High Brown Fritillary,False Heath Fritillary,Mountain Ringlet,Alpine Heath,Grizzled Skipper,Alpine Grizzled Skipper

Pete Smith


Haute Chaîne de Jura

A large NNR

Many species including Apollo, Mountain small white, Purple-shot copper, Green-underside blue, Niobe fritillary and Piedmont ringlet.


Gorges de l'Ardèche

A 20km stretch of gorge, with a visitors centre in the middle. Butterflies such as Two-tailed pasha, Cardinal, Provence short-tailed blue and Cleopatra can be found here.


Massif de Chartreuse

A large area with excellent wildlife. Butterflies found in the area could include;

Wood white, Queen of Spain, Glanville, Spotted, Heath and Knapweed fritillaries, Black-veined white, Large grizzled and chequered skipper, Apollo and Clouded Apollo.


Marais de Lavours

To the south west of Culoz, with an information centre at Aignoz.

A wetland reserve with some excellent butterfly species including;

Dusky and Scarce large blue, False ringlet, Large heath and Large copper.


Queyras National Park

A large mountainous region to the east of Guillestre.

Excellent Alpine species of butterflies occur here including;

Apollo, Clouded apollo, Mountain clouded yellow, Chequered, Alpine and Large grizzled skippers, Niobe, Queen of Spain, Shepherd's fritillaries, Rock grayling, Dryad. Ringlets including Sooty, Water and Larche. Blues including Baton and Iolas.


Madone de Fenestre Valley

Starting from St Martin-Vésubie the valley goes through forest up to meadows.

Apollo, Small apollo, Wood white, Scarce copper, Long-tailed blue, Shepherd's fritillary.


Col de Larche and Col de Restefonde

The Jausiers to St-Etienne-de-Tinée road

Peak white, Apollo and Larche ringlet can be found at the high altitudes around these areas.



A large area, needing a detailed survey to provide better information for these pages! The park has information centres in various villages, with its main one in Chemin de Fusilles.

Lower down species may include Queen of Spain and Glanville fritillary and Chequered skipper. While higher up Apollos and other Alpine species can be found.



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