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Geranium Argus. (64)
peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Geranium Argus.

Aricia eumedon (Esper, 1790)

Geranium Argus
Storchschnabel-Bläuling
Zwart blauwtje
Brun blåvinge
Ruskosinisiipi
Modraszek eumedon
Modráčik bielopásy
Modrásek bělopásný
Geranyum Çokgözlüsü
Argus de la Sanguinaire

Family: Lycaenidae

Wingspan: 30 – 32mm


Actually, it was a totally unexpected encounter next to a parking lot. With dark clouds of thunderstorm approaching, we were heading to our car after visiting an exhibition of Tibetian culture at the old Carinthian mining village of Hüttenberg. Taking the shortest way, we crossed a high growing meadow full with Geranium blossoms. There I noticed a few dark brown butterflies drinking nectar unaffected from the approaching rain, a species that I was sure to have never seen before.

Aricia eumedon is distributed from Mongolia, Altai, Tienshan to Turkey, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. In a few isolated colonies the species is reaching Italy, southern France and Spain.

Coloured dark brown in both sexes, the Geranium Argus may be seen flying in one generation from June into August in extensively cultivated meadows both humid and dry, as long as they are rich with the caterpillar’s feeding plant which may either be Geranium palustre, Geranium pratense or - in dry places – Geranium sanguineum. Caterpillars live in symbiosis with ants.

The feeding plant is also offering the butterfly’s preferred source of nectar, as shown here.

In Austria, as in most parts of Central Europe, the species is confined to a few isolated spots and considered to be severly threatened by extinction from loss of habitat.

> Wings open.


References:

Tom Tolman, Richard Lewington: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Stuttgart 1998.

H. Höttinger, J. Pernerstorfer: Tagfalter. Rote Liste ausgewählter Tiergruppen Niederösterreichs. Vienna 1999.

C. Jonko: European Butterflies. http://www.lepidoptera.pl


Camera:

SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 18mm macro-zoom setting (equiv. 110mm at conventional 35mm SLR), F/8, 1/100 sec., ISO-125; -0.3 bias, no tripod, no flash; 04.07.2008, 15:31.

Postwork:

Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to the web, selectively resharpened, levels slightly adjusted.

Thank you for looking.
Have a very good day.

Altered Image #1

peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Wings open.
Edited by:peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)

Aricia eumedon (Esper, 1790)
Geranium Argus
Storchschnabel-Bläuling
Argus de la Sanguinaire

Hüttenberg, Carinthia, Austria.

Camera: SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 18mm macro-zoom setting (equiv. 110mm at conventional 35mm SLR), F/7.1, 1/80 sec., ISO-125; -0.3 bias, no tripod, no flash; 04.07.2008, 15:31.