| Side-by-Side Top-Bottom|
|Brenthis hecate (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)|
Saumfleck-Perlmutterfalter, Twin-spot Fritillary, Nacré de la Filipendule, Hechicera, Ecate, Perlovec dvojradový, Çift Noktalı Brentis, Barna gyöngyöházlepke, …
Wing span: 42 – 45 mm
Hecate (ancient Greek: Ἑκάτη) is the name of an ancient goddess of magic and sorcery, one of the main goddesses worshipped in ancient Athenian households for being a powerful protector of a family’s well being.
Michael Denis and Ignaz Schiffermüller, teachers at the Theresianum military academy in Vienna, showed a favour for Greek mythology when giving names to the numerous findings from their research on butterflies and moths of the Vienna region in the late 18th century. A good number of less common European butterflies have been scientifically described for the first time from that area by those two authors in 1775, and so they are today still bearing the poetic names given by them (e.g. Z. polyxena, H. alcyone, A. arethusa, E. medusa, L. helle, P. damon, M. alcon, A. agestis, P. dorylas, A. ilia, M. phoebe, A. pandora, A. adippe, P. daphnis, B. selene, B. daphne, B. hecate, …).
After two and a half centuries, a few of those species have disappeared from the area of their discovery and first description. But most of them are still there, some of them now rare and endangered, however, such as Brenthis hecate.
Today, B. hecate may be found living in scattered colonies in mountain areas of Spain, Southern France, Northern Italy, Gran Sasso, Lower Austria, the Balkans, Turkey, Iran, Southern Russia, Southern Siberia. The butterflies may be seen flying in one generation from late May into July.
The species inhabits dry flowery meadows at woodland margins from the lowlands up to 1,500 metres, where the caterpillars‘ feeding plant Filipendula sp. is growing safely undisturbed from greedy premature cutting. During the last decades, most of those extensively cultivated habitats have either been given up, turning into scrubs and forests, or their cultivation was intensified by harvesting hay several times a year – both resulting in a dramatic reduction of biodiversity, bringing many of its former inhabitants to the edge of extinction.
The extended belt of Vienna Woods around the capital of Austria has preserved a few meadows housing some isolated colonies of Brenthis hecate, and much care is taken now to preserve those habitats for future generations within the recently established „Biosphärenpark Wienerwald“.
The location of observation reported here is meadows in decidous forests on limestone hills at an elevation of 500m a.s.l.
Brenthis hecate, the upper side.
- Michael Denis, Ignaz Schiffermüller: Systematisches Verzeichniss der Schmetterlinge der Wienergegend herausgegeben von einigen Lehrern am k.k. Theresianum. Wien 1776.
- H. Höttinger, M. Pendl, M. Wiemers, A. Pospisil: Insekten in Wien – Tagfalter. Wien 2013.
- Christian Stettmer, Markus Bräu, Patrick Gros, Otmar Wanninger: Die Tagfalter Bayerns und Österreichs, Laufen/Salzach 2007
- Tom Tolman, Richard Lewington: Collins Butterfly Guide, London 2008
- Christopher Jonko: Butterflies and Moths of Europe. http://www.lepidoptera.pl/
SONY DSC-H5, 3456 x 2592 pixels, sRGB, 16 mm macro zoom (equivalent 80 mm at full size SLR), F/4, 1/250sec., ISO-125, bias -0.3, hand held, no flash. 11.06.2009, 17:58.
Adobe Photoshop CS4, cropped, downsized to web, selectively resharpened, levels slighty adjusted.
Thank you for having a look at a goddess of magic.
Have a very good day.
|Altered Image #3|
downsize again - less resharpened
|oversharpened: luciano, you are right.|
have turned to original date once again for downsizing to web-presentation with a hopefully a bit smoother result. thanks again for your critique. best regards,
|Altered Image #2|
|Biosphärenpark Wienerwald: Seewiese, Perchtoldsdorf, Lower Austria.|
SONY DSC-HX1, 3456 x 2592 pixels, sRGB, 6 mm (equivalent 30 mm at full size SLR), F/4, 1/160sec., ISO-125, bias -0.3, hand held, no flash. 11.06.2009, 17:19.
|Altered Image #1|
B. hecate, the upper side.
|B. hecate, the upper side.|
SONY DSC-H5, 3456 x 2592 pixels, sRGB, 18 mm macro zoom (equivalent 90 mm at full size SLR), F/4, 1/160sec., ISO-125, bias -0.3, hand held, no flash. 11.06.2009, 17:58.
Hope you enjoy.