Spanish Festoon -Zerynthia rumina


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Zerynthia rumina

Málaga, March 2013

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Málaga, March 2011

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Ronda, March 2011

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Málaga, March 2011

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Málaga, March 2011

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Gibraltar, February 2007

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Gibraltar, February 2007

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Gibraltar, February 2007

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Gibraltar, February 2007

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Gibraltar, February 2007

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Gibraltar, February 2007

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Gibraltar, February 2007

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

The foodplant - Aristolochia baetica (the butterfly also takes other specise of Aristolochia)

Spanish festoon - zerythia rumina

Gibraltar, 1983

The Spanish festoon is a wonderfully exotic butterfly close-up, though in flight its colours blur into a buttery mixture of all the shades on its wings and it looks much less brilliant. It is unmistakeable in most of its range - Iberia - but can be confused with the similar Southern festoon in parts of southern France. Unfortunately, I have yet to see this latter species, but the two are easily identifiable even without a picture. The southern festoon has virtually no red on the forewings and much more prominent zig-zags around the edges of the wings.

This is an early species. I photographed most of the insects above in Gibraltar in February 2007, when it was already abundant. However, the books suggest that in most of its range it is a little later than this - probably from the end of March onwards. Because I never go so far south in the spring, I saw these festoons in 2007 for the first time since I left Gibraltar in 1983 and it was a most nostalgic experience.