The Lago di Piano Reserve is a few kilometers from the town of Menaggio on the road to Lake Lugano. It is a four or five kilometer walk around the small lake through woodland and pasture rich in butterflies and dragonflies. This Lesser Purple Emperor was one of the first butterflies we spotted and as they do not occur in Spain or Britain it was a lifer for me.
Although I have seen the White Admiral butterfly before in Norfolk, this was my first opportunity to photograph this delightful insect which flits around in sunny clearings along the woodland trail.
Blues were abundant and as they are mostly very small I photograph first and try to identify them later from the pictures. The Common Blue predominated but also present were Chapmans Blue, Short-tailed Blue and Holly Blue.
Among the small species were a number of Skippers, including both Large Skipper, Small Skipper and Essex Skipper.
The only discernable difference between Small Skipper and Essex Skipper is the black underside tip of the antenna on lineola, absent on sylvestris.
The Scotch Argus is also brown but with small white centres to the doubled wing spots. Many of these two brown species were in very poor condition indicating that perhaps they were close to the end of their season. It is a wonder how they manage to fly with torn and tattered wings.
Although there were plenty of darters, dropwings, emporers and other relatively common species around, the next one had me stumped for a while.
As expected Como proved to be a fascinating and beautiful destination, somewhere both Elena and I would definitely like to revisit. Next time we will try to avoid the month of August which is very humid, and to perhaps experience the stunning scenery when there are fewer tourists. I think Lombardy in Autumn in would be perfect.