Erebia cassioides (Reiner & Hochenwarth, 1792)


Erebia cassioides: Male (above Heiligenblut, Kärnten, Austria,Typus site, August 2009) [N] Erebia cassioides: Male (above Heiligenblut, Kärnten, Typus site, August 2009) [N] Erebia cassioides: Male (above Heiligenblut, Kärnten, Austria, August 2009) [N] Erebia cassioides: Male (above Heiligenblut, Kärnten, Austria, August 2009) [N] Erebia cassioides: Male (above Heiligenblut, Kärnten, Austria, August 2009) [N] Erebia cassioides: Male (above Heiligenblut, Kärnten, Austria, August 2009) [N] Erebia cassioides: Female (above Heiligenblut, Austria) [N] Erebia cassioides: Female (above Heiligenblut) [N] Erebia cassioides: Female (above Heiligenblut) [N] Erebia cassioides: Female (above Heiligenblut) [N] Erebia cassioides: Freshly deposited ovum (ssp. cassioides, Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Ovum after some days (ssp. cassioides, Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: L1 (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva at the end of the first instar (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: L2 (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva in penultimate instar (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva in penultimate instar (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva in penultimate instar (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva after the last moult (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva after the last moult (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (greenish form) (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (greenish form) (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Head with the appendices (4 ) (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Head lateral (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Pupa lateral (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Pupa lateral (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Pupa ventral (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Pupa dorsal (ssp. cassioides, e.o. Heiligenblut) [S] Erebia cassioides: Habitat at the Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße (Austria) in 2150m above sea level (August 2009) [N] Erebia cassioides: Male ssp. arvernensis (Alpi marittime in Italy, August 2010) [N] Erebia cassioides: Female ssp. avernensis (Cuneo, 2000m above sea level, August 2010) [N] Erebia cassioides: Female (Cuneo, 2000m above sea level, August 2010) [N] Erebia cassioides: Female (Cuneo, 2000m above sea level, August 2010) [N] Erebia cassioides: Ovum (Cuneo, 2000m above sea level) [S] Erebia cassioides: L1 (Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: L2 [S] Erebia cassioides: Half-grown larva (e.o. Cuneo 2010) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (e.o. Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (e.o. Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (e.o. Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (e.o. Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (e.o. Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (e.o. Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: Larva (Cuneo): head [S] Erebia cassioides: Pupa (e.o. Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: Pupa (Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: Pupa (Cuneo) [S] Erebia cassioides: Habitat in the Alpi marittime in 2300m above sea level (August 2010) [N]

Host plants:
The caterpillars feed on various, mostly clump-forming grasses. The main genus is here Festuca.

Habitat:
Erebia cassioides inhabits mostly rocky or stony ground. But it can also occur on earthy cracks and embankments. The altitude ranges from 1500 to 2300m (rarely even higher) above sea level.

Life cycle:
The eggs are attached to green or dead grass leaves. The development involves only a single hibernation. The caterpillar overwinters in the first or second stage and is fully-grown between late June and early August. The adults fly from July to September with maximum in August.

Endangerment factors:
Erebia cassioides is affected at lower altitudes by more intensive farming and generally by tourism, but is still not heavily threatened.

Remarks:
Erebia cassioides occurs in Europe in two races in the east (cassioides, southern eastern Alps from around the Brenner and Salzburg, locally in the Balkan Peninsula) and west (avernensis (western Alps in France and north west Italy, locally in the western Swiss Alps from the Berner Oberland, further Massif Central, the Pyrenees, Cantabrian Mountains, rare in Central Italy). Sometimes recently avernensis is treated as a distinct species. You can find reasons for both positions as it is the case in many other taxonomical problems, but in my opinion a subspecies status fits the situation probably better.

In breeding, the caterpillar can be brought to pupation without hibernation with Erebia tyndarus and Erebia cassioides when they are kept in a warm room. In Erebia nivalis in breeding at least one winter in penultimate instar seems to be necessary.

Hints on determination:
see Erebia nivalis



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