Sunday 24 July 2022

The Italian Dolomites.

 Several months ago I was invited to co-lead the annual Naturetrek butterfly tour to the Dolomites. I have recently returned from Italy having experienced an absolutely fabulous week with the most amazing views and many simply stunning butterflies, moths, and many other insects and orchids.

I am so pleased I took up the invitation. It was also a great help as the main leader was Luca Boscain, a very enthusiastic guy that lives in Italy and is very familiar with the wildlife there.

Our Hotel was on the outskirts of a tiny village high up in the mountains with great views and stunning food too. 

I could post a whole blog just on the scenery, but will try to stick mainly to the insects we saw, although the odd view will I'm sure make it into the following few posts.

The Hotel in Tamion above the Fassa valley.

The first post will concentrate on the Fritillaries that we saw, both high up in the mountains and also in the valleys.

Dark Green Fritillary.

Marbled Fritillary.

Female Silver-washed Fritillary valezina form.

High Brown Fritillary.

Titania's Fritillary (top wing and under-wing).

My hope was to see the Titania's, Shepherd's and Mountain Fritillary. In the end we saw plenty of the Titania's (above) and Shepherd's. In the Mountain Fritillary the female is quite easy to tell apart from the Shepherd's, but the male is much harder, although I am confident we did see several male Mountain as well as the female.

Shepherd's Fritillary.

Female Mountain Fritillary.

Under-wing of a probable Shepherd's Fritillary.

Some of the terrain we were searching.

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