Iberian Marbled Whites appear to have escaped the ravages of Winter, they were prolific in the sunny banks and clearings along a small road that winds its way up the Sierra Nevada from the small town of Guejar Sierra. This little known, narrow, and hard-to-find road is very picturesque. Bordered by flowering hedges, small meadows and woody clearings it is a delight for butterfly enthusiasts in high summer.
The Brimstone is the origin species of the word Butterfly, the male being a very "butter-coloured" fly. This is one of the longest lived adult butterflies, they are known to hibernate through winter and fly again as soon as the springtime sunshine warms their wings sufficiently.
This Small Pincertail dragonfly struck a typical upturned abdomen pose on a streamside rock, and a Speckled Wood butterfly conveniently held its wings open flat for the perfect ¨field guide¨ species shot.
The Queen of Spain Fritillary is a very handsome species. The large silver spots on its hindwing underside seem to glow in the sun´s rays, fabulous.
The Marsh Fritillary is described as in serious decline in Europe due to changes in agricultural practices. We are lucky enough here to see them frequently although usually solitary, not in any numbers. I like their large club-shaped orange antennae. The Long-tailed Blue is a fast flying wanderer. It can reach the Azores 1400 kms from the mainland, and has been observed 3300 metres up on Mount Everest
Sage Skipper - muschampia proto
On a short walk by the Rio de la Miel I picked up a few shots of a Sage Skipper. I haven´t recorded this species before as I am not good at identification. However this clear shot looks like the Sage Skipper illustrations in Collins Field Guide.Sage Skipper - muschampia proto
This underwing shot doesn´t help much as it is very like a Grizzled Skipper, but I believe the upperwing white spots clinch it, Sage Skipper.
Here´s a look at a Southern Marbled Skipper. Easily distinguished from its Grizzled cousins but not so simple when compared with other Marbled species.Copper Demoiselle female - calopteryx haemorrhoidalis
Copper Demoiselle Damselflies flutter around in sunny clearings along riverbanks. They are a common but welcome sight around the trickling mountain streams of the Axarquia.
Black-veined White - aporia crataegi
An elegant butterfly, the Black-veined White is found all over Europe, including Scandinavia and Russia, but strangely it is absent from the UK. Older insects wings become almost translucent as the white pigment wears off which gives them a delicate and ephemeral appearance.Lizard of Oz
These colourful beetles were sharing the flowers with butterflies in a roadside meadow on the way down the Sierra Nevada mountains. The lizard however was taken on a wander along the Rio Higueron below Frigiliana with Josh and Allen from the Camera Club. We saw a few dragonfly species including Epaulet Skimmer, Blue Emporer, Orange-winged Dropwing, Violet Dropwing, Small Pincertail and Red-veined Darter.
Butterflies are not abundant along the Rio Higueron except for the Striped Grayling, which I have photographed and posted several times before. However this Wall Brown alighted with closed wings, unusual for this species, so I took advantage with a quick shot to show the elaborate patchwork of the underwing design.
And finally this little wild flower attracted Josh´s eye, and quite rightly so as the photograph reveals a stunner in shape and colour, well worth an inclusion in a wildlife blog.
Retired seafarer living in Frigiliana, a white village in Malaga Province in southern Spain. Married to Elena. Keen bird and wildlife watchers.
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