Yesterday I spent an intensive day catching butterflies in Liguria (North-Western Italy). This region is very interesting: many French species (not only butterflies) which crossed the Alps are present in Italy only within this region.
I hoped to find some vertebrate species like the ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus) and the Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus), but I’m a dreamer and reality is hardly different. Anyway, we went in Liguria to sample butterflies for the project “Barcoding Italian Butterflies“, led by Leonardo Dapporto and Roger Villa, from the Butterflies Diversity and Evolution Lab of Barcellona. In addition, Alessandro Cini (Post doc of the University of Florence) and Leonardo Platania (master student of the University of Florence) were also present.

We visited some places (mainly between Imperia and Savona), looking for the highest number of species and with a particular interest for those laking from the barcoding project and important to define transition area of the Italian and French populations.
Unluckily, weather was not helpful and clouds decreased our productivity. We took few photos, because to catch butterflies was more funny and because photos cannot be barcoded.

Callophrys rubi in Col di Brea, Capomele (SV). Photo by L. Platania.

Col di Brea, Capomele (SV). Photo by L. Platania.

Heriaeus sp. in Col di Brea, Capomele (SV).

Flower chafer (subfamily Cetoniinae).

We found 18 species, and luckily some of them were new from this region for the barcoding project!

Families: Species:
Papilionidae Iphiclides podalirius, Papilio machaon.
Pieridae Pieris rapae, Pieris napi, Leptidea sinapis, Colias croceus, Euchloe crameri, Anthocharis cardamines, Gonepteryx rhamni.
Lycaenidae Callophrys rubi, Pseudophilotes baton, Glaucopsyche melanops, Celastrina argiolus.
Nymphalidae Vannessa atalanta, Vanessa cardui, Lasiommata megera, Pararge aegeria, Coenonympha pamphilus.

Happy and very tired, we took some moment to have a lunch in front of the Ligurian sea. Beer was perfect for recharge our bodies and face the return trip.

Leonardo Dapporto, Leonardo Platania, I and Alessandro Cini. Rapallo (GE).