Marsh Fritillaries, moos and meadows in Galicia, Spain

The Marsh Fritillary butterfly, Euphydryas aurinia, is distributed right across the Palaearctic region – from Ireland to Russia. It is a species complex, divided into mostly distinct taxa or subspecies, with slightly different appearances, but strongly different ecological requirements (Casacci et al., 2015; Korb et al., 2016). These local, or regional populations have often specialised on, or adapted to,…

Feeding on hemlock!

There were huge numbers of Marsh Fritillary (Eurodryas aurina) butterflies flying about in Galicia (north-west Spain) when I visited the province in late April. Many of them were feeding on a white umbelliferous plant which I did not recognise at first. Only later, did I realise that what the butterflies and other insects were so attracted…

Northern Wheatear in northern Spain

I crept up on this Wheatear, which was sitting on a rock at Cape Bares (Punta de Estaca de Bares) in Galicia, Spain. Punta de Estaca de Bares is the northernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula and sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean (Bay of Biscay). Northern Wheatears are said to be ‘rather local’ in Galicia…

A decumbent toadflax and its weevil

This beautiful little flower is found along the coastline of northern Spain. It is often associated with dune systems (1) but also occurs on headlands, rocky areas and outcrops. These photographs were taken in late April at Punta de Estaca de Bares (Cape Bares), which is the northernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. The Prostrate linaria,…