Dusky Heath
Coenonympha dorus

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Aragón, Spain, July 2011



Aragón, Spain, July 2011



Aragón, Spain, July 2011, f. microphthalma



Aragón, Spain, July 2011



Aragón, Spain, July 2011


I first saw dusky heaths in Spain in 1983, but because the border with Gibraltar (where I lived and worked) was then closed by the Spanish on their own terms my camera was confiscated when I crossed it! I saw another individual in Hungary in 1994 but was unable to film it. I only got poor photos in the South of France in 2004 so it was with great joy I photographed the above individuals in July 2011 in Spain.

This is a very distinctive butterfly. Although superficially similar to some other heaths it is instantly identifiable in the field, not least by the outwardly curving row of spots on the hindwing. It is a characteristic butterfly of hot, dusty locations in Spain, Italy and the south of France.