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Erebia nivalis.

Erebia nivalis.
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-08-20
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/640 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): European Butterflies 7, Hohe Tauern National Park [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-03-25 13:23
Viewed: 5709
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Erebia nivalis.

Erebia nivalis (Lorkovic & De Lesse, 1954)
De Lesse’s Brassy Ringlet
Moiré du nardet

Genus: Erebia
Subfamily: Satyrinae
Family: Nymphalidae

Wing span 34 – 36 mm.

After a few weeks' pause, I may continue to show another alpine “Brassy Ringlet”, named for the metallic iridescence of wings flashing up when looked upon from a certain angle in the bright sunshine.

As mentioned before, research by Lorkovic & de Lesse on chromosomes has given proof to the existence of six different species of very similar appearance in European mountain regions: E. tyndarus, E. nivalis, E. calcaria being endemites of the Alpine chain; E. cassioides from Pyrenees, Alpes and the Balkan; E. hispania from Sierra Nevada and the Pyrenees; E. ottomana from Massif central and the Balkan.

According to a valuable suggestion made by Peter Roos (batu) to a previously posted collage of various views of brassy ringlets, to its visual appearance, and to the location where the observation was made, the specimen shown here is very likely to be the rare and endemic De Lesse’s Brassy Ringlet (Erebia nivalis).

E. nivalis has first been described from Grossglockner in Austria, where I met this butterfly at an elevation of approximately 2200m near the alpine cottage of Lucknerhuette. The species is restricted to high elevations of the eastern alpine chain of Hohe Tauern and Niedere Tauern in Austria, to an isolated area near Grindelwald in Switzerland, and to Alpi Atesine in Northern Italy.

Very small eyespots with white centres, and the orange brown spot around eyespots on forewings extending into the centre of the wing are a good visual indicator to tell E. nivalis from the other members of the tyndarus-group, e.g. Erebia tyndarus.

Butterflies are on their wings in one extended generation in July and August. Caterpillars feed on Festuca quadrifolia. They take two years to grow up.

The Location:

Mountain meadows above the range of forests on the slopes of Grossglockner, at elevations between 2100 and 2500m.
For a view, please click here.

The Camera:

SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 17mm, F/4.5, 1/640 sec., ISO-125; 20.08.2006, 10:37 – near Lucknerhütte at 2200m.


Photoshop Elements. Closely cropped, downsized to web, selectively sharpened, levels slightly adjusted.


L.G. Higgins, N.D. Riley, W. Forster (bearb.): Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Hamburg und Berlin 1978²

T. Tolman, R. Lewington: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Stuttgart 1998.

Chris Jonko: European Butterflies.

Thank you for looking.
Have a very good day.

star74, Alex99, dew77, ramthakur, uleko, manyee, jmp, anel, pilonm, SkyF, rousettus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To batu: Sommerurlaub in den Alpenpeter_stoeckl 2 03-31 16:20
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • star74 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 211 W: 3 N: 598] (2474)
  • [2007-03-25 13:30]

Hi Peter,
Beautiful shot,
Wonderful colors,
Sharpness and details are perfect,
Well done

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-03-25 13:46]

Hi, dear Peter.
Upper POV. It is really impressive. How many species of butterfly you have met. I will soon exhaust my butterfly list. Amazing specimen and excellent reflection (and description at note) of all features of this wonderful creature. Crisp sharpness and perfect details of all scenery including BG. Next your lovely illustrated story about butterflies. Thank you a lot and my best regards.
Yours Alexei.

Now I have not any point. I'll be back tomorrow.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-03-25 14:08]

Love the iridescent sheen Peter!
Very well composed and a good POV.
Nice and sharp aswell.
Well done,

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-03-25 14:27]

Hello Peter,
Very nice capture of this butterfly.Colors,details and framing are wondeful.Excellent work!

You make invaluable contribution to TN by building on the rich theme on this exceedingly attractive species of butterflies from your region, Peter.
This is yet another woderful capture of the Brassy Ringlet against the earth background and accompanied by a rich, informative note.
Best regards.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-03-25 14:43]
  • [+]

Hallo Peter,
die Farben sind wunderbar getroffen, der Blau-Grün-Schiller kommt phantatstisch heraus. Blickwinkel und Komposition gefallen mir sehr gut. Auf dem Thorax und an der Vorderflügelbasis sind 2 rote Punkte zu erkennen, leider nicht scharf genug, um sagen zu können, ob es sich um parasitische Milben handelt!?
Schöne Grüße, Peter
P.S. Ich freue mich auf meine Sommerurlaub in den Alpen und wünsche mir viele Erebia-Bilder!

  • Great 
  • methos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 213 W: 51 N: 281] (1189)
  • [2007-03-25 14:50]

Hi Peter,
Great shot. Superb colors and lovely details.
Good composition.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-03-25 14:55]

Hi Peter,
Splendid shot. Lovely colours and sharpness. Very interesting POV and BG. Nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-03-25 15:25]

Hello Peter,
This is not only a rare species you've captured here but I'm sure it must also be quite an art to capture these butterflies from the right angle to produce these fantastic colours. Great sharpness and a nice diagonal composition too.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Peter.

Excellent picture, very goo details and colors.

Jose Luis.

Olá Peter

Espetacular imagem!
Cores mágicas, boa luz e sombras.
Simples e linda composição.
Bom trabalho Peter, parabéns!


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-03-26 0:20]

Hello Peter,
The colors are just gorgeous.
I love the irridescence of the greens and blues.
The bronze color is so rich.
Great details and POV as well.
TFS. ; )

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-03-27 13:06]

Hi Peter,
Extremely sharp and well illuminated butterfly that shows the beautiful iridescence you describe. Perfect control of exposure that let me feel the need of sunglasses and even so, no part of image is overexposed.
TFS and best regards, José M.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-03-28 6:51]

Hallo Peter,
Diese Erebia nivalis ist sehr diskret und ich hatte sie übersehen, als ich nach dem Ausflug ins Val d'Hérens zurückkam. Ich war dort auf ca 2000m, aber Schmetterlinge gab es keine zu sehen, wegen eines verspäteten Wintereinbruchs. Deine Erebia nivalis scheint wirklich eine Rarität zu sein. Ich werde danach Ausschau halten, da Du uns ein gutes Bild davon gibst. Erstaunlich die winzigen Augen. Mit herzlichem Dank für diesen interessante Beitrag.
Liebe Grüsse

Hello Peter,

What a remarkable butterfly! You got a very good pov in order to show us that magical iridescence on the wings! I like also the shadow formed by the body and the antenna of the insect on the ground... Good composition also by putting it the upper right corner of the picture!

Good job and TFS,


  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-03-31 12:14]

Hallo Peter,
enfach sagenhaft wie die Farben hier schimmern. Nicht einfach diese Regenbogenfarben festzuhalten, aber du zeigst uns diesen Falter von seiner Besten Seite.
Klasse Aufnahme, super scharf und auch die Bildeinteilung stimmt.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-04-01 8:00]

Hello Peter
Another kind of Erebia which I didn't know! And as beautiful as the others with that beautiful iridiscence on its wings.
Thank you very much for the excellent capture and the very interesting note.
Best wishes
Sorry, I had forgotten the points

Hi Peter
What a nice colors like rainbow. Nice shot with details, sharpness and POV. Good notes. TFS
best wishes

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