Just returned from a visit to my best friend from school's villa on the Costa Brava...
Here's the view -
This was my first opportunity to look for the Two-tailed Pasha Charaxes jasius, the one butterfly I feared might rival iris for the position of Europe's premier butterfly. It's larger for a start. I'd lost a lot of sleep worrying that jasius might prove mightier than iris.
I need not have worried. It's a cowardly beast, which wouldn't last five minutes in the Knepp Wildlands oaks. With such a jerky flight it would never be able to out-manoeuvre iris in a clash and chase, and would quickly be shot down in flames. The first one I saw got beaten up by a Red Admiral. Imagine that! No Red Admiral would dare to fly into an iris territory, though they often set up territories directly below those of iris. I chose to turn my back on Charaxes jasius, and refused to photograph it. I was wearing purple and white at the time, of course.
This establishes a precedent: from now on all People of Purple Persuasion are obliged to turn their back on their first Charaxes.
For the record, Long-tailed Blue, Lang's Short-tailed Blue (more of a Long-tailed lookalike) and Geranium Bronze were numerous in my friend's garden. Nigel's Pelargoniums had been suitably shredded by the latter, except for those with aromatic leaves which the females seem to ignore. Here are the pics, I didn't bother to photograph jasius -