Chelis simplonica (Boisduval, 1840)

Chelis simplonica: Male [S] Chelis simplonica: Male in resting posture [S] Chelis simplonica: Female in resting posture [S] Chelis simplonica: Female [S] Chelis simplonica: Larva [M] Chelis simplonica: Larva [N] Chelis simplonica: Pupa [S] Chelis simplonica: Habitat in ca. 2300m above sea level in the Valais [N] Chelis simplonica: Habitat in June 2007 (Täschalpe, Valais): inconspicuous but destructant: irrigation system in 2200m above sea level! [N]

Host plants:
The species is polyphagous, but the caterpillars are often found at Galium anisophyllon.

Chelis simplonica inhabits low growing mountain meadows and pastures above about 1900m in the southern part of the Swiss Alps (Grisons and Valais). I found the caterpillars very numerous, for example in the Valais (Täschalpe) in the south-facing, very dry and meagre pastures with Pyrgus carlinae between 2200 and 2600m above sea level.

Life cycle:
The caterpillars overwinter twice and are thus mature in June even in altitudes of about 2400m above sea level. The moths fly mainly in July.

Endangerment factors:
Chelis simplonica is endangered locally by tourist development activities, but also partly by senseless irrigation of dry pastures in e.g. 2300m above sea level, as in recent years on the Täschalpe in Valais. Something like this should never more be approved!

Chelis simplonica mainly occurs in the Swiss Alps (Valais, Engadine), but also in the bordering Alpine regions of France and Italy. A recently found population in the NW-Spanish Cantabrian Mountains is actually considered conspecific.

Chelis maculosa