Female 22/07/03 Swiss Alps
Female 24/07/03 Swiss Alps
Male 24/07/03 Swiss Alps
22/07/03 Swiss Alps
Female 23/07/03 Swiss Alps
Ssp.constans 18/07/04 Spanish Pyrenees
The subspecies constans is all brown on the uppersides of both sexes. I've not seen any undersides but I believe the male is all brown though the female can have some trace of yellow spotting.
During four days of walking in the Swiss Alps this was the most common Erebia species, seen every day in differing habitats and at various altitudes above and below the tree line. The butterfly gets its name from the very conspicuous yellow markings on the under hindwing of the female. Although not a difficult butterfly to identify I think, it is nonetheless prone to a certain amount of variation. The aforementioned yellow tone of the female can be quite warm with the upper section well fused together but also the yellow can be pale with the spots more separated (see photos.) The male has orangey-red markings on this surface which are sometimes nicely developed but can be discrete. The mating pair above are both showing relatively scanty markings on the under hindwing. Pin-prick eyespots may or may not be visible on this surface. The uppersides seem less variable. On the forewing there are three red blobs with eyespots (the lowest one the least well marked) and the hindwing is virtually unmarked apart from a couple of very reduced red patches (normally in the male I believe). In the Pyrenees the subspecies constans is a generally unmarked 'all-brown' butterfly (see photo.)