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A strikingly beautiful butterfly of mountainous regions of Europe and Central Asia, the Mountain Apollo is now listed as Vulnerable. Victim of urbanization, climate change and greedy collectors, its numbers have declined and it has disappeared from some alpine valleys. The red eye-spots vary in size and form depending on location and subspecies, and wings are transparent at the edges.
Alpine meadow. alt. 1700m. Last shot shows the general habitat. The map pin has been moved out of the exact spotting location.
Typical of altitude, its range is from 400 metres (1,300 ft) up to 2,300 metres (7,500 ft); it is far more present above 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) where habitats are now more suitable. This species requires specific climatic conditions (cold winter, sunny summer). I saw more more of them this summer than during the past few years; possibly due the the last harsh winter. The species also requires wide open spaces. The presence of the host plant for the caterpillars is critical: stonecrop (Sedum sp.) and houseleek (Sempervivum sp.). Strictly protected in several countries including Switzerland and France.
Spotted on Aug 14, 2013
Submitted on Nov 26, 2013
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