Rätzer's Ringlet is a satyrine butterfly discovered in 1882 by Swiss minister August Rätzer in the Laquinthal in the Simplon of Southern Switzerland (Schulz 1892, Rätzer 1893). Endemic to a small area in the subalpine region of the Swiss and Italian alps, this is one of Europe's rarest butterflies (Leigheb et al. 1998, Sonderegger 1996, van Swaay et al 2012). Due to its restricted range, the species was listed in Appendix II of the Bern Convention (Council of Europe 1979).
The larvae of Erebia christi feed on Sheep Fescue (Festuca ovina), a densely tufted perennial grass. Like other alpine Erebias exposed to low average temperatures and a short growing season, Erebia christi caterpillars need two years to complete development, i.e., two winters are spent in the larval stage (Sonderegger 1996).
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