Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Genil Valley, Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

Orchids and Butterflies.

The main point of this visit was to check on the flowering progress of two species of Epipactis. Both Growing in the mixed broad leaved woodlands typical of this valley.
The first was Small-leaves Helleborine (Epipactis microphylla), 5 spikes were found and they were all in different stages of flowering, some starting to go over whilst 2 were still in bud.
The next plant was Epipactis phyllanthes var. fageticola, at the site I found last year there were 17 spikes with quite a way to go before they were to flower but at a new site to me near the microphylla 4 more plants were seen in a much brighter position and a single plant had 2 flowers just about open. 4 plus spikes of Dactylorhiza elata ssp sesquipedalis were also in perfect condition a little further along the road in a damp flush.
At a point further down in the valley where the road crosses the Rio Genil several butterfly species were seen, these included Comma (Polygonum c-album), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia), Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines).
Photographs from the top: Small-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis microphylla), Epipactis Phyllanthes var fageticola, Comma (Polygonum c-album), Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) and Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus).

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