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blog by: El Paraje
Berchules, Granada, Spain

6 August 2011

A slide show of the high route to Trevélez in high summer

Having now a better idea of the different butterflies in the area, we decided to count the number of species on an August day on the high route to Trevélez. While ascending through the pine forest we saw a number of graylings resting on trees. In a clearing we saw a Tree Grayling (Hipparchis statilinus) with marbled looking underwings resting on a stone with exactly the same colouring. Almost at the end of the forest, close to a small pond, we saw a number of Iberian Marbled Whites (Melargia lachesis). After having left the forest behind, we entered the world of slate and Black Satyrs (Satyrus actaea), there were literally hundreds of them. At 2400m we saw a Humming-bird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) polinizing a Centranthus nevadensis, an endemic type of valerian. Just before the highest point of the route we saw a number of Blues that we have not identified yet. On the top of the Peña de los Papos (2538m) a Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron) and a Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera) were sunbathing. Another highlight was the reservoir at the top of the Barranco de los Castaños were we saw more Iberian Marbled Whites, apparently they want to be near water. Here we could also take photographs of Clouded Yellows (Colias croceus), Fritillaries, Lang's Short-tailed Blues (Leptotes pirithous) and other types of Blues, all atracted by the flowering ragwort, mentha and thistles. On the descend we saw Dusky Heaths (Coenonympha dorus subsp andalusica), another Large Wall Brown feeding on a yellow thistle, a Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) that did not want its picture taken and more Blues while crossing a stream. In the slide show we included a Striped Grayling (Hipparchia fidia), not a very good photo but the first one we sighted ever. Apart from the fifteen different species of butterflies we counted, we also saw a number of different grasshoppers and two different types of dragonflies, a male (blue) and female (golden) of a Broad-bodied Chaser (Libelle depressa) and the striking Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) near a small natural pool close to Trevélez. We made a slide show with photogrpahs of these insects and their habitats, and of course of the excellent views. For those interested in doing this route, we offer a taxi drop off to the pine forest at 1900m.  This means you could arrive in Trevélez at lunch time, when you do not get off too late, which can be nice on a warm summer day.

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