our forthcoming tour we used a last opportunity to visit a
very remote location of Tolna
county in search of Tree
Grayling, a very scarce species in Hungary.
Here this species usually occurs at sandy area or at some
riverbanks, but getting very rare, unfortunatelly. This is
especially rare at the Transdanubian area (west of the Danube).
It was collected in 1908 around Fenyõfõ, later
discovered in Õrség during the 40's, but no
recent observations. There are some uncomfirmed records from
the area of Gyõr too. During my university years I
did find some specimens from the 80's in the university' collection
from Tolna county, which excited me very much since than,
and now with the help of Google Earth we shorted our the possible
habitats. With the help of two best friends I visited the
area for a day, and located the species at the first attept,
which made us very happy, however the population is on the
verge of extinction, we didn't count more than 10 specimens.
There were also many Grayling, Woodland Grayling, Alcon
Blue and hundreds of Cardinals. We also had
two night for light-trapping at night, which resulted some
good species, incl. Simyra nervosa, Hadena irregularis,
Actinotia hyperici and Oxycesta geographica. There was
a big number of hawkmoths around, too. The most exciting moment
of the night was, however the howling of two Golden
Jackals. Jackals were extremely rare in Hungary
since the mediaval times, and for twohundred years we only
had four records until the recent balkan war, when the southern
populations were highly disturbed, and vagrant specimens re-colonised
Hungary again. Now we have probably 500 jackals in the country,
and they are especially widespread around the southern Transdanubian
counties. I have seen many jackals in Asia and Africa, however
this was the first when I heard them in Hungary. There was
two major howling from two specimens, probably a pair, asking
each other: -"Are yoooouuuuu theeeeere???", "-Yeeees,
here I am!" It was fascinating! The next day we visited a nearby island in
search of the mega butterfly, Freyer's
or Hungarian Purple Emperor. This species
was originally described from the vicinity of my former university
town, Pécs, but the habitats around that area are completely
demolished. They are still common and widespread along the
riverbanks of the lower Danube, Drava and Tisza rivers. They
are small population in Croatia and Serbia as well, but this
is still a very hungarian butterfly, fascinating, rare, exciting.
Its very easy to confused with the second generation of the
Purple Emperor, however - apart from the usual
IDs - having a different flight and behaviour.Today we have had great luck at the sandy
banks of Danube river, we did find the species immediatelly
at first attempt again, and we took several great pictures.
There were also some beautiful Yellow-legged
Club-tailed Dragonfly, but they were terribly
shy and I was quite unlucky to photograph them, just got some
distant pictures. 20,
fresh Tree Grayling. Another
specimen try to chase away its photographer, with its "eyes"
on the flasing forewing. Freyer's
or Hungarian Purple Emperor. A strictly protected species,
probably the best butterfly of Hungary. Freyer's
or Hungarian Purple Emperor on its foodplant (Salix spp.) Irrisation
on Freyer's or Hungarian Purple Emperor.
habitat (banks of the Danube river) of the Purple Emperor..
radiosa, a scarce, attractive and fast day-flying moth (Noctuidae).
bed record shot about Hadena irregularis. A rare species sharing
the sandy habitat of Tree Grayling.
geographica. Another attractive and uncommon moth, photographed
populi, one of the most common hawkmoth of Hungary.
Club-tailed Dragonfly, a protected,
rare and endangered river dragonfly, part of the Bern Convention.