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YEAR LIST, 2004


I managed to keep my 2003 record almost up to date last year - you can find it HERE. Click HERE for 2002's beginning (I only got as far as 1st June) and HERE for 2001. I seem to have lost the file for 2000.
Two of my friends also keep online year-lists. Tim Cowles, living in the Monts du Lyonnais, publishes his list HERE and Matthew Rowlings, temporarily stationed not far from me in Vevey, Switzerland, has his HERE.
CHECKLIST FOR THE YEAR 2004
(All place names refer to localities near Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, unless otherwise specified)

1 - Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) - 6th February - La Barboleuse
2 - Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) - 18th March - Gryon
3 - Small white (Artogeia rapae) - 31st March - Bex
4 - Comma (Polygonia c-album) - 31st March - Martigny
5 - Queen of Spain fritillary (Issoria lathonia) - 31st March - Martigny
6 - Green-veined white (Artogeia napi) - 31st March - Martigny
7 - Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros) - 1st April - Gryon
8 - Peacock (Inachis io) - 1st April - La Barboleuse
9 - Orange tip - 14th April - near Geneva
10 - Green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) - 25th April - La Barboleuse
11 - Violet fritillary (Clossiana dia) - 4th May - La Barboleuse
12 - Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) - 12th May - Chesières
13 - Wood white (Leptidea sinapis) - 12th May - Chesières
14 - Pale clouded yellow (Colias hyale) - 12th May - Chesières
15 - Small heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) - 12th May - Chesières
16 - Meadow fritillary (Mellicta parthenoides) - 12th May - Chesières
17 - Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina) - 12th May - Chesières
18 - Wall (Lassiomata megera) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
19 - Scarce swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
20 - Provençal short-tailed blue (Everes alcetas) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
21 - Adonis blue (Lysandra bellargus) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
22 - Dingy skipper (Erynnis tages) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
23 - Red-underwing skipper (Spialia sertorius) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
24 - Berger's pale-clouded yellow (Colias alfacariensis) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
25 - Chapman's blue (Agrodiaetus thersites) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
26 - Common blue (Polyommatus icarus) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
27 - Clouded yellow (Colias croceus) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
28 - Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
29 - Green-underside blue (Glaucopsyche alexis) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
30 - Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
31 - Holly blue (Celastrina argiolus) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
32 - De Prunner's ringlet (Erebia triaria) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
33 - Mallow skipper (Carcharodus alceae) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
34 - Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
35 - Apollo (Parnassius apollo) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
36 - Little blue (Cupido minimus) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
37 - Northern wall (Lassiomata petropolitana) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
38 - Small copper (Lycaean phlaeas) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
39 - Mazarine blue (Cyaniris semiargus) - 15th May - Rhône Valley
40 - Mountain dappled white (Euchloe simplonia) - 16th May - Near Martigny
41 - Sooty copper (Heodes tityrus) - 16th May - Near Martigny
42 - Grizzled skipper (Pyrgus malvae) - 16th May - Near Martigny
43 - Spotted fritillary (Melitaea didyma) - 16th May - Near Martigny
44 - Safflower skipper (Pyrgus carthami) - 16th May - Near Martigny
45 - Chequered blue (Scotilantides orion) - 16th May - Near Martigny
46 - Large white (Pieris brassicae) - 16th May - Near Martigny
47 - Chequered skipper (Carterocephalus palemon) - 26th May - La Barboleuse
48 - Woodland ringlet (Erebia medusa) 27th May - La Barboleuse
49 - Baton blue Pseudophilotes baton - 29th May - near Fully
50 - Marbled white (Melanargia galathea) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
51 - Bath white (Pontia daplidice) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
52 - Marbled skipper (Carchorodus lavatherae) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
52 - Geranium argus (Eumedonia eumedon) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
53 - Clouded apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
54 - Black-veined white (Aporia crategi) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
55 - Almond-eyed ringlet (Erebia alberganus) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
56 - Pearl-bordered fritillary (Clossiana euphrosyne) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
57 - Provençal fritillary (Mellicta deione) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
58 - Large grizzled skipper (Pyrgus alveus) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
58 - Idas blue (Plebejus idas) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
59 - Purple-shot copper (Heodes alciphron gordius) - 5th June - Rhône Valley
60 - Violet copper (Lycaena helle) - 6th June - Villars
61 - False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina) - 10th June - La Barboleuse
62 - Large skipper (Ochlodes venatus) - 14th June - La Barboleuse
63 - Silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus) - 14th June - La Barboleuse
64 - Zephyr blue (Plebejus pylaon trappi) - 19th June - near Simplon
65 - Knapweed fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) - 19th June - Rhône Valley
66 - Heath fritillary (Mellicta athalia) - 19th June - Rhône Valley
67 - Darwin's heath (Coenonympha darwiniana) - 19th June - Rhône Valley
68 - Nickerl's fritillary (Mellicta aurelia)- 19th June - Rhône Valley (subject to confirmation)
69 - Marbled fritillary (Brenthis daphne)- 19th June - Rhône Valley
70 - Dryad (Minois dryas)- 19th June - Rhône Valley (amazingly early for the species)
71 - Large wall (Lassiomata maera)- 25th June - La barboleuse
72 - Meadow brown (Maniola jurtina)- 24th June - La Barboleuse
73 - Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)- 26th June - La Barboleuse
74 - Bright-eyed ringlet (Erebia oeme) - 26th June - La Barboleuse
75 - Marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) - 4th July - Villars
76 - Manto ringlet (Erebia manot) - 4th July - Villars
77 - Mountain fritillary (Boloria napaea) - 4th July - Villars
78 - Alpine heath (Coenonympha gardetta) - 4th July - Villars
79 - Dewy ringlet (Erebia pandrose) - 4th July - Villars
80 - Woodland brown (Lopinga achine) - 5th July - Panex
81 - Small pearl-bordered fritillary (Clossiana selene) - 7th July - Pont de Nant
82 - Dusky large blue (Maculinea nausithous) - 9th July - Bernese Oberland
83 - Scarce large blue (Maculinea telejus) - 9th July - Bernese Oberland
84 - Purple-edged copper (Paleochrysophanus hippothoe) - 9th July - Bernese Oberland
85 - Lesser marbled fritillary (Brenthis ino) - [date forgotten] - La Barboleuse
86 - Piedmont ringlet (Erebia meolans) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
87 - Pearly heath (Coenonympha arcania) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
88 - Great sooty satyr (Satyrus ferula) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
89 - Great banded grayling (Brintesia circe) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
90 - Scarce copper (Heodes virgaureae) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
91 - Silver-washed fritillary (Argynnis paphia) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
92 - Dark green fritillary (Mesoacidalia aglaja) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
93 - Cinqfoil skipper (Pyrgus cirsii) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
94 - Provence (Moroccan) orange tip (Anthocharis euphenoides) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
95 - Turquoise blue (Plebicula dorylas) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
96 - High brown fritillary (Fabriciana adippe) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
97 - Niobe fritillary (Fabriciana niobe) - 16th July - Val d'Aran
98 - Long-tailed blue (Lampides boeticus) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
99 - White admiral (Limenitis camilla) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
100 - Ilex hairstreak (Satyrium ilicis) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
101 - Purple emperor (Apatura iris) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
102 - Escher's blue (Agrodiaetus escheri) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
103 - Chalkhill blue (Lysandra coridon) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
104 - Amanda's blue (Agrodiaetus amandus) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
105 - Purple hairstreak (Quercusia quercus) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
106 - Sloe hairstreak (Satyrium acaciae) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
107 - Camberwell beauty (Nymphalis antiopa) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
108 - Map butterfly (Araschnia levana) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
109 - Northern brown argus (Aricia artaxerxes) - 18th July - Val d'Aran
110 - Spanish brassy ringlet (Erebia hispania) - 18th July - Val d'Aran
111 - Large ringlet (Erebia euryale) - 18th July - Val d'Aran
112 - Eros blue (Polyommatus eros) - 20th July - Val d'Aran
113 - Mountain clouded yellow (Colias phicomone) - 20th July - Val d'Aran
114 - Glandon blue (Agriades glandon) - 20th July - Val d'Aran
115 - Small mountain ringlet (Erebia epiphron) - 20th July - Val d'Aran
116 - Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) - 21st July - Val d'Aran
117 - Lefebvre's ringlet (Erebia lefebvrei) - 21st July - Val d'Aran
118 - Woodland grayling (Hipparchia fagi) - 22nd July - Val d'Aran
119 - Southern gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia) - 22nd July - Languedoc
120 - Iberian marbled white (Melanargia lachesis) - 22nd July - Languedoc
121 - Geranium bronze (Cacyreus marshali) - 23rd July - Provence
122 - Southern white admiral (Liminitis reducta) - 23rd July - Provence
123 - Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) - 23rd July - Provence
124 - Southern small white (Artogeia manii) - 23rd July - Provence
125 - Nettle tree butterfly (Libythea celtis) - 23rd July - Provence
126 - False ilex hairstreak (Satyrium esculi) - 23rd July - Provence
127 - Dusky heath (Coenonympha dorus) - 23rd July - Provence
128 - Grayling (Hipparchia semele) - 23rd July - Provence
129 - Furry blue (Agrodiaetus dolus) - 23rd July - Provence
130 - Striped grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia) - 23rd July - Provence
131 - Scotch argus (Erebia aethiops) - 26th July - La Barboleuse
132 - Water ringlet (Erebia pronoe) - 26th July - Villars region
133 - Arran brown (Erebia ligea) - 26th July - La Barboleuse
134 - Blind ringlet (Erebia pharte) - 27th July - La Barboleuse
135 - Lesser mountain ringlet (Erebia melampus) - 27th July - La Barboleuse

COMMENTARY

January
Saw no butterflies in January this year.

February
6th : Small tortoiseshell. We have had several days of very warm, sunny weather, resulting in 'spring' snow (crusty and glazed in the shade, slushy in the sun). Today a small tortoiseshell was cruising around my house and another was flying at the foot of the Barboleuse ski piste. I am sure there have been more over the last few days but I have missed them.
14th : Small tortoiseshell - at least two flying in Gryon.
16th : Small tortoiseshell - one flying in Gryon, seen twice in the same place at an interval of about half an hour.

March
3rd : The bise has been blowing, and still is, but it was very sunny today and two small tortoiseshells were flying around Gryon.
15th : Small tortoiseshells flying from mid-morning onwards, in Villars and in Gryon.
16th : Small tortoiseshells everywhere, cruising around, resting on grass and flowers, generally enjoying the first really warm and summery day of the year.
17th : More of same.
18th : First brimstone of the year - a male, flying in Gryon.
19th - 22nd : Small tortoiseshells flying whenever the sun out, despite a general move towards much colder weather.
23rd : Snow has moved in again - no butterflies.
24th : 20cm of snow on the ground and more falling - no butterflies!
28th-30th : Sun has returned after the heavy snow over the previous days. Small tortoiseshells, but nothing else, flying around the Gryon region from 28th onwards.
31st : Small tortoisehells common around Gryon and Villars in the morning. In afternoon visited the valley, near Martigny. Small white common from Bex to Martigny. Also a single comma near Martigny and many Queen of Spain fritillaries, some in pairs, flying around the south-facing vine-slopes. A single green-veined white but no southern small whites, which I had hoped for! No blues or skippers on the wing yet and surprisingly, no wood whites either.

April
1st : Again sunny and warm. Around La Barboleuse and Gryon mostly small tortoiseshells flying - no whites, brimstones or commas. However, I saw a single large tortoiseshell at about 2.00pm between Gryon and Les Pars and a single peacock a little later on in La Barboleuse.
2nd : Small tortoiseshells and small whites. A single small dark butterfly that looked like a lycaenid was flying around near where pot plants were being offloaded and arranged. Gallingly, I couldn't get a better look at it - I wondered whether it might even be a geranium bronze freshly shipped in.
4th onwards: Bad weather moved in, then I moved out - to the UK for Easter. English weather bad until Easter day, but then I fell ill, so no butterflies at all seen until...
14th : Three brimstones seen from train, flying along by railway line between London and Luton. Also a single orange tip seen from the train from Geneva to Lausanne.
15th - 21st : Bad cold, bad weather (snow!) and work kept butterflies at bay.
22nd - 23rd : Small tortoiseshells flying around Barboleuse. Weather very warm on 22nd especially.
25th : Green hairstreak flying on ski piste at Barboleuse. Also several small tortoiseshells and an orange tip in Gryon. Sunny but still cold up here in the mountains.
26th : Comma and a few small tortoiseshells.
28th : Still cool, even in the sun. Orange tips in Gryon and Barboleuse (2 in total!) during late morning, a comma in Gryon, a small white also in Gryon and a handful of small tortoiseshells. Here, the season is not really under way.
4th May : Recent weather very mixed, genearally cold but with sunny patches. Occasional butterflies, including the single queen of Spain on the ski piste that has been hanging around for a while now. Today joined by a single violet fritillary. Otherwise, just a few orange tips and the occasional small tortoiseshell.
5th - 7th : Snow began falling on 5th and became heavy on 6th, until about 15cm lay on the ground in most places. Light snow still falling on 7th. No glimmer of hope for butterflies.
9th - 10th : Snow gave way to rain and cleared up properly on 10th.
11th : Often sunny, but not much flying yet, after so much snow. Small tortoiseshell, orange tip, Queen of Spain.
12th : Morning chilly but very sunny. Lightening cycle ride to Chesisières after morning classes produced little, but still more than the last few days. Swallowtail (2 or three individuals), orange tip, wood white, pale clouded yellow (or Berger's - it is impossible to tell in flight at a distance), several Clossiana fritillaries in flight that looked like pearl-bordered but none stopped while I was there and I didn't have time to wait, Queen of Spain fritillary, meadow fritillary, small heath, small tortoiseshell, probably violet fritillary.
15th : Trip to Rhône Valley. Small heath (a few, but not abundant), Queen of Spain (one or two), wall brown (fairly common everywhere), scarce swallowtail (common), Provençl short-tailed blue (at least one definite specimen, but in the region little blues seem to approach very closely to the underside pattern of Provençal short-tailed blue, including a spot near the anal angle), adonis blue (common), orange tip (common), dingy skipper (one), small white (frequent), possible southern small white (none certain - did not check all), red-underwing skipper (two or three - several more small skippers seen in flight), pale clouded/Berger's clouded yellow (probably both, and commonly), Chapman's blue (frequent), common blue (common), clouded yellow (a few), wood white (fairly common but not abundant), speckled wood (one or two), green-veined white (a few), green-underside blue (probably about half a dozen in total - maybe more), Glanville fritillary (fairly common), holly blue (one, maybe more), de Prunner's ringlet (six or severn certain, in a very limited region - others in flight could in principle have been woodland ringlet or almond-eyed ringlet), mallow skipper (one, plus another probable tufted marbled skipper, but it got away), painted lady (two or three), small tortoiseshell (a few), Apollo (two or three), brimstone (two or three), little blue (probably two or three), northern wall brown (several at one locality), small copper (one), mazarine blue (one female).
16th : Martigny region. Small tortoiseshell, small white, wood white, little blue (frequent but not common yet), comma, Provençal short-tailed blue (some with such vestigial tails that easily confused with minimus or osiris), green hairstreak (quite common in several places), Duke of Burgundy (two separate sites), orange tip, adonis blue, green underside blue (reasonably common), common blue, Chapman's blue, wall, mountain dappled white (only a single identified, but probably more around - they were not stopping to rest), dingy skipper, mazarine blue, small heath, sooty copper (only one or two), Glanville fritillary, de Prunner's ringlet (at a quite different site from yesterday's), violet fritillary, grizzled skipper (several in two sites, the most numerous being very high, course grassland), spotted fritillary (several, in a very hot site near Fully), safflower skipper (only one or two), Queen of Spain, red-underwing skipper, chequered blue (much lower density than at the same place last year), large white (one or two).
18th : At last grizzled skippers are flying at Barboleuse - a month and a half later than last year!
26th : There has been a fair amount of sun recently and butterflies have been emerging in good numbers around Barboleuse. I have had Duke of Burgundy and common blue in my garden, northern wall brown in a clearing in the woods at the end of my garden and Provençal short-tailed blue in Gryon. Today I saw my first chequered skipper of the year, though I am sure it was not the first on the wing. Also a grizzled skipper of the rare form taras, in which large areas of the forewing are painted in white and the hindwing is weakly marked. There is a picture of this insect here.
27th : First woodland ringlet of the year.
29th : Trip to the Rhône valley. Spent hours searching for suitable Iolas blue habitat and succeeded, possibly seeing three Iolas blues. But none stopped so I can't be certain. Got my first baton blue of the year and many other species, including glanville fritillary, chequered blue, safflower skipper, swallowtail and scarce swallowtail, clouded yellows, adonis blue, common blue, wood white, orange tip, painted lady, small tortoiseshell, wall brown &c. but generally the vineyards I was searching were a washout. Back home, saw and filmed a female pale clouded yellow/ Berger's clouded yellow ovipositing, as well as grizzled skipper, red-underwing skipper, sooty copper, mazarine blue and woodland ringlet.

June
5th : Just a list, because I'm writing up with little time, and well after the event. A day in the Rhône Valley. Marbled white; painted lady; common blue; adonis blue; little blue; apollo; bath white; small tortoiseshell; Glanville fritillary; wall brown; Chapman's blue; green-underside blue; marbled skipper; spotted fritillary; wood white; scarce swallowtail; orange tip; green hairstreak; geranium argus; safllower skipper; mazarine blue; small heath; clouded apollo; Duke of Burgundy; holly blue; black-veined white; almond-eyed ringlet; pearl-bordered fritillary; large grizzled skipper; Provençal fritillary; idas blue; purple-shot copper.
6th : Violet copper, near Villars.
14th : Large skipper, La Barboleuse; silver-studded blue.
19th : Rhône Valley - Apollo; painted lady; common blue; zephyr blue; spotted fritillary; wall brown; Queen of Spain fritillary; knapweed fritillary; little blue; red-underwing skipper; pearl-bordered fritillary; heath fritillary; black-veined white; wood white; adonis blue; green hairstreak; safflower skipper; swallowtail; geranium argus; mountain dappled white; baton blue; idas blue; clouded apollo; orange tip; northern wall brown; de Prunner's ringlet; painted lady; swallowtail; Darwin's heath; Berger's pale clouded yellow; Nickerl's fritillary; large white; green-veined white; dingy skipper; peacock; marbled white; large skipper; marbled fritillary; Bath white; dryad (amazingly early, but no doubt); Mazarine blue.
23rd : Large wall brown.
24th : Meadow brown.
26th : Ringlet; bright-eyed ringlet (La Barboleuse).