Reddish Alpine (Erebia lafontainei) (Troubridge & Philip, 1983)

Diagnosis: The upperside is dark brown. There are generally four distinct black-centred orange spots on the forewing, usually increasing in size from front to back. The forewing spots are repeated on the underside, and there are zero to three smaller orange spots on the hindwing, sometimes with tiny brown centres. The hindwing underside is reddish brown with pale reddish-brown hairs; there is a distinct grey-brown band with a pinkish sheen between the reddish-brown medial and marginal bands. Wingspan: 33 to 41 mm.

Range: Erebia lafontainei flies in Alaska, Yukon, and western Northwest Territories as far east as Tuktoyuktuk.

Specimen collection data

Description of this image follows.
Reddish Alpine (Erebia lafontainei).
Inuvik, NWT. J.T. Troubridge

Similar Species: The Four-dotted Alpine (E. youngi) and the Scree Alpine (E. anyuica). [compare images]

Early Stages: Nothing is known about the early life history of this species.

Abundance: It is locally common.

Flight Season: Flies from mid-June to late July.

Habits: Erebia lafontainei is found in arctic and alpine low-shrub tundra, usually resting in patches of short sedges between low willows and birches, or in frost boils where it is sheltered from the wind. It sometimes strays over fellfield or scree in places where Four-dotted Alpine (E. youngi) and Scree Alpine (E. anyuica) occur, but is usually common only in low wet areas. It is sometimes seen at mud-puddles. Erebia lafontainei is closely related to Erebia kozhantshikovi Sheljuzhko of eastern Siberia.

© 2002. This material is reproduced with permission from The Butterflies of Canada by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. University of Toronto Press; 1998. Specimen photos courtesy of John T. Fowler.