Bright-eyed Ringlet

Erebia oeme


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Erebia oeme

Switzerland, July 2014



Female, Switzerland, July 2010

Erebia oeme

Male, Switzerland, July 2014

Erebia oeme

Male, Switzerland, June 2015

Erebia oeme

Female, Switzerland, June 2015

Erebia oeme

Male, Switzerland, June 2019



Males, Switzerland, July 2010



Males, Switzerland, July 2010

This is an exceptionally 'bright-eyed' ringlet from the Pyrenees. It is an unusual form.

Erebia oeme distribution

Distribution

This is one of the earlier ringlets, emerging on my local mountain at about 1800m in mid-June, when it is the only Erebia species, and remaining on the wing until the beginning of August. It is particularly associated with relatively damp areas of long grass, and will often be found among the grasses, though males will also gather at minerals along tracks and stream beds.

It is the underside that most deserves the name 'bright-eyed'. Even in weakly marked individuals, the spots seem to wink at you. The upperside is very variable, ranging in the male from almost all dark, with a hint of reddish containing blind apical eyespots (quite common in the Swiss subspecies, lugens), to well marked, with full bands and white-pupilled eyespots. The last picture above - a frame from an old video - shows form pacula, an exceptionally 'bright-eyed' form which can apparently turn up in any population.

The larvae use a great variety of grasses and sedges, including meadow grasses, fescues, quaking grasses and purple moor grass. The caterpillar hibernates, either once or twice, depending on altitude, so in some cases development takes two seasonal cycles.