Scree Alpine (Erebia anyuica) (Kurentzov, 1966)

Diagnosis: The upperside is very dark brown with a row of yellowish-orange spots on the forewing, either without black centres or with tiny black centres that decrease in size from front to back. A similar row of spots on the hindwing usually lacks the black centres, and on both wings these spots are repeated on the underside. The hindwing underside has practically no light bands, and is lightly covered with white or light brown hairs. Wingspan: 31 to 42 mm.

Range: Erebia anyuica flies in Siberia, in several isolated areas of Alaska, and in a band that extends across northern Alaska and northern Yukon (British Mountains) to the Richardson Mountains on theYukon/NWT border. It also occurs in central Yukon in the Ogilvie Mountains north of Dawson.

Specimen collection data

Similar Species: Four-dotted and Reddish Alpines (E. youngi and E. lafontainei) both have a banded hindwing underside, with a light covering of reddish hairs and usually all of the orange spots on the forewing above have black pupils. [compare images]

Early Stages: These are unknown.

Abundance: It is considered locally common.

Flight Season: On the wing from mid-June to late July.

Habits: The Scree Alpine flies in dry rocky habitat, preferring fine gravelly scree to areas of large rocks. It often flies with the Mt. McKinley Alpine (E. mackinleyensis) and the Astarte Fritillary (Boloria astarte), but wherever there are separate areas of large rocks and fine gravel it is only seen on the gravel, while the other two usually prefer the rocky areas.

Remarks: Erebia anyuica, formerly only known as a Siberian species, is now known to be the same species as Erebia occulta Roos and Kimmich, described in North America in 1983 (Dubatolov, 1992).

© 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.