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Old Sunday 28th May 2017, 18:49   #1
string boozel
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Butterflies on the Costa del Sol.

I recently spent a few days on a short break in Fuengirola and my wife allowed me to get out and try and find something natural amongst the highrises and concrete. For anyone else that finds themselves here I'll write a brief account of what I saw in case it helps build up a picture of what to expect.

Quite a lot of skippers were noted, at least four of which one I've had to put on the I.D part of the forum. The others were Lulworth, Mallow and Dingy, the latter was too quick for a pic and was seen near Guadalmar to the west of Malaga while the others were on wasteground at Torreblanca. This area in a suburb of Fuengirola was a sunny patch of scubby and flowery grassland and produced some nice stuff. If you're in the area look for the hill with the giant bull cut-out and tower and you'll be fine!

Clouded Yellows were fairly common and other whites noted where Portuguese Dappled and Green-striped while there were also many Small and a Large or two about too. Of the browns Wall and Speckled Wood were common and actually looked very similar, rather a few Gatekeepers around and I identified several as Southerns.

A few Painted Ladies were among the more colourful of the types seen though three more spectacular species overshadowed them. Those three were Swallowtail, a Scarce Swallowtail and my star of the show, a Spanish Festoon. When I thought that a lens cap left on the camera cost me a photographic opp I turned the air as blue as the Spanish sky but it thankfully worked out OK in the end - phew!

Many blues had to go unidentified but the few that I could confidently I.D were Common, Lang's Short-tailed and Brown Argus. Finally both Blue-spotted Hairstreak and Small Copper were found but did not hang around long enough for a picture. A Hummingbird Hawk moth was also seen.

If any of my I.D's are dodgy plus let me know, it certainly wouldn't be the first time.

James.
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Old Sunday 28th May 2017, 18:54   #2
string boozel
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Some more pictures from my hols, you may have noticed that I forgot to mention the Geranium Bronze in the earlier post, sorry.

James.
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Old Sunday 28th May 2017, 18:58   #3
string boozel
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A final batch, I think that I've left the best till last but feel free to disagree!

James.
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Old Sunday 28th May 2017, 19:07   #4
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Could the 4th photo on the 1st post be Western Dappled White rather than Portuguese Dappled White ?

...and the 2nd photo maybe Red-underwing Skipper? (I have no lit. at hand at the moment)

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Old Sunday 28th May 2017, 19:13   #5
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A final batch, I think that I've left the best till last but feel free to disagree!

James.
Hi, just back from Jimena de la Frontera. I'm not an expert, but take an interest and saw lots of butterflies. What is the Blue in your final set of four? I saw one identical the other day and wasn't sure - that's my language for I haven't a clue!

I have a couple of pics of Fritillaries which I'd like identified too. I'll post them on the forum when I find them on the camera!
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Old Sunday 28th May 2017, 19:51   #6
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Hi, just back from Jimena de la Frontera. I'm not an expert, but take an interest and saw lots of butterflies. What is the Blue in your final set of four? I saw one identical the other day and wasn't sure - that's my language for I haven't a clue!

I have a couple of pics of Fritillaries which I'd like identified too. I'll post them on the forum when I find them on the camera!

It's a Lang's Short-tailed Blue!


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Old Sunday 28th May 2017, 20:04   #7
string boozel
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Simon, it's more than likely to be Western, looking through my Collin's I settled on Portuguese because I looked at the pictures rather than read the text. For some reason Western doesn't appear to merit an illustration so I completely overlooked it - Doh!

James.
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Old Sunday 28th May 2017, 20:11   #8
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James, to be honest without some "re-swotting" I cannot be sure - but Portuguese is usually in very well conserved habitats on limestone with perennial Iberis (Candytuft) so that and the comparative rarity made me question it.
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Old Sunday 28th May 2017, 20:15   #9
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It's a Lang's Short-tailed Blue!


Shane
Many thanks Shane, I clearly have a lot to learn!
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 04:05   #10
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The festoon is surely a Southern not Spanish? Latter would have many more red markings on upper fore-wing.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 11:11   #11
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I don't think that Southern Festoon's range extends into Spain and although I did wonder about the reduced amount of red had to assume that it was a variation of Spanish.

James.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 11:18   #12
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I don't think that Southern Festoon's range extends into Spain and although I did wonder about the reduced amount of red had to assume that it was a variation of Spanish.

James.
Also doesn't have the extent of blue at the rear of the hindwing that a Southern would have. Scroll to bottom of this page for a Spanish with the red lacking.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 11:58   #13
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Do you have any underwing shots of the skipper on photo#2? That is certainly a Carcharodus skipper (a female in this case), but not Mallow (or False Mallow). Only possible contenders are Marbled and Southern Marbled.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 12:49   #14
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Also doesn't have the extent of blue at the rear of the hindwing that a Southern would have. Scroll to bottom of this page for a Spanish with the red lacking.
Thanks for that- hadn't seen an image with so little red before.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 19:08   #15
string boozel
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Rafael, unfortunately I don't have any underwing shots of that skipper, I've got plenty more in similar poses but they will not be of any help I'm guessing.

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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 20:49   #16
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Rafael, unfortunately I don't have any underwing shots of that skipper, I've got plenty more in similar poses but they will not be of any help I'm guessing.

James.
James, I'd go with Rafael's opinion ie: forget my suggestion of Red-underwing.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 21:19   #17
string boozel
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As I feared on looking at my pics I had no underwing shots but do have a selection of shots of several different individuals. Not sure if they will bring anything new to the table in terms of helping with an I.D but here they are just in case.

James.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 21:41   #18
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James, I'd go with Rafael's opinion ie: forget my suggestion of Red-underwing.
Simon, check the shape of the hindwing border: the "toothed" edge gave the name to the genus, as Carcharodus from the greek means "sharp tooth" (carnivore tooth, shark tooth). :) Muschampia can resemble that a bit.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 21:47   #19
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As I feared on looking at my pics I had no underwing shots but do have a selection of shots of several different individuals. Not sure if they will bring anything new to the table in terms of helping with an I.D but here they are just in case.

James.
James, these are quite helpful actually. The first 2 show Mallow Skipper sp. (one can't distinguish Mallow from False Mallow without dissecting the genitalia) and I think the last is a Southern Marbled (but need to look at it in more detail), which is the expected "Marbled" in the area... If you have more please do post them :)

PS: apparently False Mallow hasn't been recorded from that area, but the info on the distribution of that species is very scant at best, so who knows...
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 17:55   #20
string boozel
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Good grief, these skippers are a difficult bunch, any chance we can just lump them all into one species? Ah well thought not. Two more pics but that's all I've got.

James.
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Old Thursday 1st June 2017, 19:09   #21
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Simon, check the shape of the hindwing border: the "toothed" edge gave the name to the genus, as Carcharodus from the greek means "sharp tooth" (carnivore tooth, shark tooth). :) Muschampia can resemble that a bit.
Thanks Rafael, actually that does simplify it a bit - I won't forget "shark-toothed butterfly"
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