Great Sooty Satyr (Satyrus ferula)

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2013 photographs highlighted in pale blue. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

16926_male_Var_30Jun09 17009_female_Var_30Jun09 13005_male_Valais, Switzerland_15Jul08
13007_male_Valais, Switzerland_15Jul08 17845_male_Isere_11Jul09 16930_male_Var_30Jun09
2733_female_Italy_16Jul06 2426_female_Var_7Jul06 2728_female_Italy_16Jul06

Ferula appears to be widespread and quite common in its localities, which are usually at medium altitudes of around 1000m. It is very similar to the Black Satyr (S. actaea) and the differences are addressed on the actaea page. The ferula upperside could possibly be confused with the Dryad (Minois dryas) but the centres of the ocelli on the dryas upf are blue (especially in the female) and ferula white.

There is a huge degree of variation, especially in the female ferula, in both the colouring and the markings, as can be seen from these shots. The female also seems to outnumber the males by around 2:1 whereas in most species it appears to be the other way round, mainly because the males are more active. Ferula can often, unusually for Satyridae species, be seen with its wings open basking in the sun, again usually the female which holds its wings almost flat.
ref sex

observations

alt. m
16926 M

a beautifully fresh male. Sooty indeed! The body shape looks decidedly female, though, but it cannot not be a male (could it?).

920
17009 F

a beautifully fresh female, getting the best of the sun's rays on a rather overcast day.

920
13005 M

a male, rather dark and with very little contrast across the discal line.

1700
13007 M

a lighter male, but not quite light enough to suggest female.

1700
17845 M a male, decidedly black in ground colour and with a quite serrated discal line, but not sufficiently so to indicated actaea. However, most ferula appear to have two black uph ocelli in the s1/s2 region and 17845 does not, so is this indicative? 1120
16930 M

a male, no real doubts given the rounded nature of the discal line.

920
2733 F

a grey-brown female underside, a strong discal line and good contrast across it.

990
2426 F

a very pale grey female underside, a strong discal line and clear contrast across it, and strong black unh ocelli at s1 and s2.

780
2728 F

a quite brown female underside, a strong discal line but limited contrast across it.

990

 

16926_male_Var_30Jun09

 

17009_female_Var_30Jun09

 

13005_male_Valais, Switzerland_15Jul08

 

13007_male_Valais, Switzerland_15Jul08

 

17845_male_Isere_11Jul09

 

16930_male_Var_30Jun09

 

2733_female_Italy_16Jul06

 

2426_female_Var_7Jul06

 

2728_female_Italy_16Jul06