Species index

Mountain Clouded Yellow

(Colias phicomone)

 

Female 22/07/03 Swiss Alps

Male 20/07/04 Spanish Pyrenees

This species was common at around 2200m in the Swiss Alps but fairly scarce in similar habitat during a visit to the Pyrenees in Spain. In the Alps there was quite a lot of flirting going on between pairs which enabled good observation of the very characteristic uppersides but properly photographing this surface was impossible with the excessive wing fluttering! The female pictured above was found motionless down in the grass and has the apex of the hindwing a little curled over. Coupled with the fact that there is relatively little contrast here on the hindwing between the paler yellow outer strip and the large, uniform 'grey-dusted over' area inside it (showing very light coloured) I've concluded the butterfly must have been absolutely fresh and barely ready to fly. The male below is also very fresh and the vivid yellow spots on the uppersides are showing through in stark contrast to the duskier underside ground colour. He really is a beautifully coloured insect and fantastic to watch in flight.

Species index