comparison H.genava vs H.alcyone    
back to H.genava page     back to H.alcyone page  
The main criterions for separating these two species are shown on this page, according to the scientific publication mentioned below (1). For a reliable identification, it is necessary to consider all the criterions and look at several specimen of the same population, as some individuals of a species may show some criterions of the other species. It is also useful to keep in mind that a few Hipparchia fagi can mix with the H.alcyone or H.genava.
Bibliography :

(1) Confirmation de la dualité du "Petit Sylvandre" diagnostiquée par Leraut (1990). 2ème partie : comparaison des critères alaires et des genitalia d'Hipparchia alcyone et d'Hipparchia genava - D.Jutzeler & G.Volpe - Linneana Belgica, Pars XX, n°5, mars 2006
Hipparchia genava   Hipparchia alcyone  
1 : not pointed (obtus angle with mild or no spike)   1: pointed (acute angle)  
2 : white spots well visible in most specimen   2 : white spots not clearly visible in most specimen  
3 : disruption (along vein 2) of the post-discal dark line (forming an elbow or a small unevenness). The dark line looks irregular.   3 : no evenness along vein 2.
4 : the dark line forms an even Omega letter
5 : the bright band is often smoked (forewing and hindwing), but the intensity of the brownish colour can vary a lot
5 : the bright band remains whitish
6 : no black spot in most specimen (a weak one in a few cases)   6 : a black spot in most specimen  
Genitalia : the number of the small black sticks usually ranges from 8 to 12 in H.genava.   Genitalia : the number of the small black sticks usually ranges from 15 to 30 in H.alcyone.  
Nota Bene : The sticks are not always easy to count as some long and brown scales can mix with the black sticks or even hide them.
The thickness of the sticks can vary a lot within the two species and is not a clue for separating them, as well as their lenght.
The checking of the genitalia has to be done gently in order not to damage the living insect which will then fly away quickly when released.