Sunday, 1 September 2013

'Le Animaux des Alps'- The Mud Puddlers

In Britain it would be quite hard to identify butterflies. It would be, but us Brits have cunningly avoided such problems, by inventively and indiscimniately eliminating entire species, so that there are fewer and thus identification is indefinitely easier. Those stupid Europeans though, they don't understand this simple trick! With there endless alpine meadows of an endless assortment of flowers, they're just making it hard for themselves.

But joking aside, the variety is utterly stunning. But superlatives aren't making me any better at identifying them, despite my best efforts most of them remain unidentified. So if you know one of the below please do pipe up, you'll make a man very happy!

Still, the post title comes from a habit I found out Butterflies do, they congregate in huge numbers on the paths when they're wet. Which means that to photograph them I have to lie in the mud. So not pleasant. But still, its a genuinely interesting phenomenon as the butterflies aren't drinking, they are (allegedly) sucking up salts and amino acids. And in fact some moth species have taken 'mud puddling' to extremes, adapting mouth-pieces for blood-sucking, the most potent of all puddles.

But thankfully these little beauties weren't quite so vicious and stuck to more conventional puddles, and boy were they there in spades...

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...when walkers come though...

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...I guess there's salt in sweat, and this little fella capitalised on it...!

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...with a little fill flash...

Blue sp.- Mud Puddler

...What i'm hesitantly calling a Moutain Argus...?

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...looks Skipper-esque, but not sure...

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...and one I can actually ID...!

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And alas I'm gonna have to start scraping the Alpine barrel soon, but there's a few more posts in me yet...!

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