Colias alfacariensis Ribbe, 1905

Synonyms/other combinations:
Colias australis

Colias alfacariensis: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Colias alfacariensis: Female (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, September 2012) [N] Colias alfacariensis: Female (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Colias alfacariensis: Mating [N] Colias alfacariensis: Oviposition (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, June 2013) [N] Colias alfacariensis: Egg (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, June 2013) [N] Colias alfacariensis: Egg after some days (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2013) [S] Colias alfacariensis: Young larva [S] Colias alfacariensis: Young larva in the hibernation instar [S] Colias alfacariensis: Half-grown larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Heidenheim/Brenz, April 2013) [N] Colias alfacariensis: Half-grown larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Heidenheim/Brenz, April 2013) [N] Colias alfacariensis: Larva after the last moult (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb, April 2013) [S] Colias alfacariensis: Larva after the last moult (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb, April 2013) [S] Colias alfacariensis: Larva after the last moult (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Colias alfacariensis: Larva after the last moult  [M] Colias alfacariensis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Colias alfacariensis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Colias alfacariensis: Larva [S] Colias alfacariensis: Larva (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb 2013) [S] Colias alfacariensis: Larva [S] Colias alfacariensis: Pupa [S] Colias alfacariensis: Habitat in 1500 bis 1700m above sea level in the Allgäu Alps: limestone pasture with Hippocrepis comosa. Colias phicomone also occurs there. August 2012. [N] Colias alfacariensis: Habitat on the eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany: nutrient-poor meadow with Hippocrepis comosa. Here are also found Polyommatus coridon, P. bellargus and Zygaena transalpina (late May 2012). [N]

Host plants:
The caterpillars feed on Hippocrepis comosa, more rarely also on Coronilla varia.

Habitat:
Colias alfacariensis inhabits limestone grasslands and pastures up to 1900m above sea level in the Alps (but mostly lower than 1600m above sea level).

Life cycle:
Colias alfacariensis flies in two or three generations per year from (late April) May to October. Hibernation takes place as a young larva (L3) which is active again very early in the sunshine in late February. At this time only Hippocrepis but usually not Coronilla have eatable green leaves, the first is probably much more important for the populations than the former.

Endangerment: regionally endangered or decreasing

Endangerment factors:
Colias alfacariensis is found in the vast majority of calcareous grasslands in Central Europe and is also common in the Alps. But generally Colias alfacariensis is in decline outside the Alps due to loss of nutrient-poor grassland because of the well known reasons (intensification, afforestation, succession, overbuilding because of industry, housing development or streets). In the northern foreland of the Alps for example there is a strong decline because of the destruction of calcareous grasslands especially in former floodplains. In the Iller valley Colias alfacariensis is thus virtually eradicated.

Remarks:
Colias alfacariensis is easy distinguishable from other Colias in the larval stage, but also the males with enough experience. More difficult are the females.

The overall distribution ranges from Central and Southern Europe until well into Asia.



Colias aurorina | Colias croceus | Colias hyale | Colias palaeno | Colias phicomone