Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 23, 2012

Butterflies of the Pyrenees

This past June I spent two weeks on a natural history trip with GreenTours Natural History Holidays. One of the highlights of the trip was the great number of butterflies. Below are links to a Flicker slideshow and collection of butterflies I photographed. Click Read more to see a list of Butterflies seen on the trip compiled by Phil Benstead, one of the trip leaders.

Butterflies of the Pyrenees Slideshow best viewed full screen by clicking on box in bottom right corner. You can click show titles under options at the top left of the screen.

Butterflies of the Pyrenees collection of Butterfly photos in Flickr. (same photos as in slideshow above)


The taxonomic nomenclature and the systematic order have been taken from Tolman and Lewington’s Butterflies of Britain and Europe published by Harper Collins (1997). An indication of abundance is give by the number of days on which a species was seen.



Papilio machaon One at Rioumajou and a one at Ossoue valley.
Scarce swallowtail A few in Spain.
Apollo Parnassius apollo Canigou.
Clouded apollo Parnassius mnemosyne Single atVal d’Eyne. Several in the small meadow en route to the reservoir at Neouvielle


Large white Pieris brassicae Widespread and common.
Black-veined white Aporia crataegi Locally very common.
Small white Artogeia rapae Widespread.
Green-veined white Artogeia napi Recorded.
Bath white Pontia daplidice Tremp.
Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines Widespread in small numbers.
Moroccan orange-tip Anthocharis belia A few in Spain.
Clouded yellow Colias crocea Widespread.
Berger’s clouded yellow Colias australis A few.
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni Gavarnie.
Cleopatra Gonepteryx cleopatra Congost de Collegats.
Wood white Leptidea sinapsis A few.


Sloe hairstreak Satyrium acaciae Tremp.
Ilex hairstreak Satyrium ilicis Tremp and Salas.
False ilex hairstreak Satyrium esculi Tremp and Salas.
Blue-spot hairstreak Satyrium spini Salas and Tremp.
Green hairstreak Callophrys rubi Aigues-Tortes NP.
Small copper Lycaena phlaeas Recorded.
Purple-edged copper Lycaena hippothoe Garin.
Long-tailed blue Lampides boeticus A few.
Little blue Cupido minimus Widespread.
Holly blue Celastrina argiolus On one date.
Idas blue Lycaeides idas Col de Perves.
Geranium argus Eumedonia eumedon Day 2.
Brown argus Aricia agestis Col de Perves.
Mazarine blue Cyaniris semiargus Widespread.
Amanda’s blue Agrodiaetus amanda Widespread.
Adonis blue Lysandra bellargus Mostly in France.
Common blue Polyommatus icarus Widespread and common.
Duke-of-Burgundy Hamearis lucina Val d’Eyne.
Southern white admiral Limenitis reducta Scattered.
Red admiral Vanessa atalanta Recorded.
Painted lady Cynthia cardui Recorded in small numbers.
Small tortoiseshell Aglais urticae Scattered.
Comma Polygonia c-album Riomajou.
Dark green fritillary Argynnis aglaja
Pearl-bordered fritillary Clossiana euphrosyne Frequently encountered in suitable montane wooded areas.
Glanville fritillary Melitaea cinxia A few.
Knapweed fritillary Melitaea phoebe Canigou.
False heath fritillary Melitaea diamina Riomajou and Ossoue valley.
Heath fritillary Mellicta athalia Widespread.


Iberian marbled white Melanargia lachesis Salas.
Great banded grayling Kanetisa circe Salas and Tremp.
Mountain ringlet Erebia epiphron Vielha and Gavarnie.
de Prunner’s ringlet Erebia triaria Vielha and Gavarnie.
Bright-eyed ringlet Erebia oeme Garin.
Piedmont ringlet Erebia meolans Recorded.
Meadow brown Maniola jurtina Only at Canigou.
Spanish gatekeeper Pyronia bathseba Tremp.
Small heath Coenonympha pamphilus Scattered records.
Pearly heath Coenonympha arcania Scattered records.
Speckled wood Pararge aegeria Scattered records.
Wall brown Lasiommata megera Scattered records.
Large wall brown Lasiommata maera Occasional records.


Large grizzled skipper Pyrgus alveus Occasional records, esp Gavarnie.
Grizzled skipper Pyrgus malvae Canigou.
Olive skipper Pyrgus serratulae Val d’Eyne.
Tufted marbled skipper Carcharodes flocciferus Val d’Eyne.
Dingy skipper Erynnis tages Widespread.
Large skipper Ochlodes venatus Scattered.
Pigmy skipper Gegenes pumilio Tremp.


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