butterflies in the garden.


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                                                                          Butterflies and moths in the garden     

Subpage butterflies and mothsOwlet moths, noctuidae,   Geometer moths,   Leafrollers, tortrix moths,   Pyralidae, CrambidaeConcealer  moths, Oecophoridae.

In Dutch we have "vlinders" (butterflies), "nachtvlinders" (nightbutterflies) and motten (small moths). I like the name nightbutterflies. 
Butterflies and moths belong to the same order Lepidoptera. They are both called lepidopterans.

The butterflies always fly during the day and they are often beautiful coloured. In moths, there are also many species which fly during the day (day active moth) and sometimes they also are beautiful coloured.  
A characteristic of moths are the long feelers or antennae, which are unclubbed at the end. They are often comb-like, feathery or filamentous.
Most moths have no bright colours (brown, grey, white or black) and often with patterns of which help camouflage them during the day.
Moths tend to have stout and hairy bodies to conserve heat during the cooler nights.
There’s a coupling of the forewing with the hindwing.
Unlike moths, butterflies generally hold their wings together above their backs when
they are resting.  

Nymphalidae

Peacock butterfly  (Aglais io, Inachis io)  Family Nymphalidae 

Peacock butterfly  (Aglais io, Inachis io)  Family Nymphalidae 

Peacock butterfly  (Aglais io, Inachis io)  Family Nymphalidae  Peacock butterfly (Aglais io, Inachis io). Family Nymphalidae. 

A very striking butterfly with an appropriate name. The eye-pots on the orange-red wings look like the eye-spots on the tail of the peacock. The dark brown underside of the wings is much less striking.
It is
often wintering in buildings or trees. Therefore it appears quite early in spring. They live about a year (from June to May).
Eggs are laid in May on the underside of the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), the food plant. (Also the food plant for  the Red admiral, Comma) So the garden plants are saved this way. 
The second generation hibernates.
Wingspan 50 - 60 mm.
Europe, Asia.
Photos: 9-4-2011

German: Tagpfauenauge. French: Paon du jour.

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)  Family Nymphalidae

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)  Family Nymphalidae

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)  Family Nymphalidae

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)  Family Nymphalidae Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae). Family Nymphalidae.

I don't see it often in the garden, although it is a general butterfly. But.... In 2012 and 2013 I saw many.
It is to recognize  by the edge with blue half moons, which are clearly contrasted against the orange and black.
It hibernates in barns and houses and is therefore often one of the first butterflies in the spring (March)  
In April they put their eggs under the leaves of the nettles. The first generation flies at the end of May and June.  In August, September flies the larger second generation. Sometimes there is a third generation.
The caterpillars feed on nettles.
Wingspan 40 - 50 mm. Europe, Asia.

German: Kleine Fuchs. French: Petite tortue, vanesse de l'ortie.

Map (Araschnia levana). Family Nymphalidae.

Map (Araschnia levana). Family Nymphalidae.

Map (Araschnia levana). Family Nymphalidae.

Map (Araschnia levana). Family Nymphalidae. Map (Araschnia levana). Family Nymphalidae.

There is a big difference between the spring generation and autumn generation. The pattern (network of lines) on the underside of the wings is similar to a map. The upper side of the wings of the spring generation is orange-brown with black spots. The upper side of the wings of the summer generation is dark brown to black with orange spots along the edge and a white band. 
The host plant of the caterpillars are stinging nettles. 
Wingspan 38 - 43 mm.
April - September. Two generations.
Europe, Asia.

Photos 22-7-2012.                German: Landkärtchen. French: Le Carte géographique.                                   .   

Painted Lady, Thistle butterfly, in North America: the Cosmopolite (Vanessa cardui, syn. Cynthia cardui). Family Nymphalidae.

Painted Lady, Thistle butterfly, in North America: the Cosmopolite (Vanessa cardui, syn. Cynthia cardui). Family Nymphalidae.

Painted Lady, Thistle butterfly, in North America: the Cosmopolite (Vanessa cardui, syn. Cynthia cardui). Family Nymphalidae.

Painted Lady, Thistle butterfly, in North America: the Cosmopolite (Vanessa cardui, syn. Cynthia cardui). Family Nymphalidae.

Painted Lady, Thistle butterfly, in North America: the Cosmopolite (Vanessa cardui, syn. Cynthia cardui). Family Nymphalidae.
 
In 2007 and 2008 I saw oft painted ladies. Than I haven't seen them for several years. In 2012 I saw this butterfly again. It’s a
migratory butterfly. It migrates from North Africa and the Mediterranean to Holland
Adults in northern Europe migrate in the autumn to North Africa and southern Europe. When they stay they don’t survive the winter. Thistle Butterflies have orange wings with black spots. The tips of the wings are black with white spots. When the wings are folded, it is a nicely drawn butterfly.
The eggs are laid on thistle, mallow or hollyhock leaves. The butterfly on nectar plants, such as the buddleia. Not like the admiral on rotting fruit.

Wingspan 50 - 60 mm.
All over the world. Not in South America and Antartica. In Australia there is a close relative, the Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi). Other closely related species are the American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) and the West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella).
Photos 9-9-2012, 10-9-2012.

German: Distelfalter. French: Vanesse du chardon, vanesse des chardons.

Comma (Polygonia c album)  Family Nymphalidae

Comma (Polygonia c album)  Family Nymphalidae

Comma (Polygonia c album)  Family Nymphalidae Comma (Polygonia c album). Family Nymphalidae.

This butterfly hibernates in the Netherlands
  Then it has the resemblance to a dead leaf.
They mate in March, April. Eggs are laid singly on the sprouting leaves of the foodplant, usually nettle. The caterpillar  
can easily be mistaken for a bird dropping.
In June there is a second generation, which hibernates. The first generation is lighter than the second generation.
The butterfly gets its name from the C or comma-shaped silver mark on the underside of the hind wings. The wings are angular for a good camouflage.
Europe, North Africa and North and Central Asia.
Photos 1-9-2010, 2-10-2010.
Caterpillar of a Comma (Polygonia c album). Family Nymphalidae. Caterpillar of a Comma (Polygonia c album). Family Nymphalidae. 9-5-2014, 18-5-2014. A young and an older caterpillar. Nettle, but also other plants, such as here on a Jostaberry.

German: C-Falter. French: Robert-le-Diable.

Atlanta, Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Family Nymphalidae

Atlanta, Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Family Nymphalidae

Atlanta, Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Family Nymphalidae

Atlanta, Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta). Family Nymphalidae.

It is a migratory butterfly found in temperate Europe, Asia and North America. The species is resident only in warmer areas, but migrates north in spring, and sometimes again in autumn. In April the first butterflies arrive in Holland. 
They lay eggs in May June. In July the next generation flies in our garden. 
It loves also rot fruit I ‘ve seen the titmouses peck holes in the plums. Afterwards the Atalantas appear. When I am eating a plum, sometimes an atalanta sits on my hand.
Red admiral caterpillars eat plants of the nettle family
This is my favourite butterfly. Also because it is not shy at all.  
Wingspan 50 - 60 mm. Europe, Asia, North America.
I ‘ve taken more photo’s. You can see them on an other page.  
Atlanta, Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Family NymphalidaeClick here to see more atalantas.     German: Admiral. French: Vulcain.

Niobe Fritillary (Argynnis niobe). Family Nymphalidae.

Niobe Fritillary (Argynnis niobe). Family Nymphalidae.

Niobe Fritillary (Argynnis niobe). Family Nymphalidae. Niobe Fritillary (Argynnis niobe). Family Nymphalidae. Not in the garden but in the dunes 4 km from our house.

The upper side of the wings is orange with black spots, cross bands and a dark border. The hind wing underside is pale orange to pale yellow coloured with white spots. It is quite rare in the Netherlands, and is primarily found in the dunes in North Holland, the Frisian Islands. It looks like the Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja) and the High Brown Fritillary (Argynnis adippe). 
The caterpillars feed on violets. 
June - August One generation. 
It overwinters as eggs in the leaf litter. 
Wingspan: 45 to 50 mm. 
Europe, Asia. 
Photos 26-6-2014. German: Mittlere Perlmutterfalter.  

Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia). Family Nymphalidae.

Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia). Family Nymphalidae.

Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia). Family Nymphalidae. Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia). Family Nymphalidae. Not in the garden but in the dunes 4 km from our house.

The upper side of the wings is orange with black spots. The underside of the hind wing is light brown with large white spots. It is mainly found in the dunes, but also in other sandy soils in the Netherlands.
The caterpillars feed on violets.
April - September Three generations.
It overwinters as a caterpillar.
Wingspan: 35 to 45 mm.
Europe, northwest Africa, Asia.
Photos 7-7-2014. 
German:
Kleine Perlmutterfalter. French: Petit nacré

Subfamily Satyridae  

 

Small  (Coenonympha pamphilus). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

 

Small  (Coenonympha pamphilus). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae. Small  (Coenonympha pamphilus). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

The wings are pale orange with a brown edge. At the top of the front wing is a brown eye. At the underside is the eyespot surrounded by yellow. The underside of the hind wing is largely grey.
The eggs are laid in the grass. They are placed separately at the base of a grass blade. 

The caterpillars eat different species of grasses.
April - September. Two generations.
It hibernates as a half-grown caterpillar.
Wingspan: 23 to 33 mm.
Eurasia, North Africa.

Photos 2-7-2012.    German: Kleine Wiesenvögelchen  French: Fadet commun ou Procris.

 

Grayling (Hipparchia semele). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

Grayling (Hipparchia semele). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

Grayling (Hipparchia semele). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae. Not in the garden but in the dunes 4 km from our house.

A large butterfly of the subfamily Satyridae. The underside of the forewing is orange with two eyespots. The underside of the rear wing is drawn gray-brown. The upper side is dark brown with a yellow-brown markings. You can find it in dry areas such as dunes and heathland. In recent years, the number Graylings declined in the Netherlands. Wingspan 51 to 62 mm.
Caterpillar host plants: grasses like fescue (Festuca).
July - September. One generation. It hibernates as a half-grown caterpillar. Europe.
Photos 20-7-2012.   German: Ockerbindige Samtfalter, Rostbinde. French: L'Agreste.

Grayling (Hipparchia semele). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae. 11-8-2014. For the first time in our garden!!!

AWall brown (Lasiommata megera). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

 

Wall brown (Lasiommata megera). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae. Wall brown (Lasiommata megera). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

For the first time in the garden. It flew in the scullery. I've taken a few photos before it was allowed to leave our house. The small photo is of the underside.

Orange-brown wings with dark brown cross bands. On the forewing an eyespot. Also on the underside of the hindwing is a row of eyespots.
The caterpillars feed on different grasses.
April - September Two generations. Sometimes a third generation until November. Like this butterfly.
It overwinters as a half-grown caterpillar.
Wingspan: 40 to 52 mm.
Palearctic. The species has declined in the Netherlands.

Photos 9-10-2014. German: Mauerfuchs. French: French: La Mégère, le Satyre.

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) male

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) female

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae. Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

The colour of the female is more beautiful. The female is larger, has also a larger eye-spot on each forewing and has an orange colouration on the forewings.  Linnaeus even thought, they were several species. Generally the male butterfly is most beautiful.
The Meadow Brown occurs in a wide variety of grassland habitats such as roadsides and gardens. The Meadow Brown will also fly in dull weather  
The butterfly on the large photo is a male. The  butterflies on the last three photos are females.

Flight Time: May – August. But the adult lives less than a month.

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) female  Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) female These two photos: 4-7-2010.

German: Große Ochsenauge   French: Myrtil

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae. Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). Subfamily Satyridae. Family Nymphalidae.

This is the subspecies: Pararge aegeria tircis. A brown butterfly with pale yellow spots.
The other subspecies is: Pararge aegeria aegeria. This species has orange spots and occurs in Southern Europe. It can be found on my page about insects in France.
On the forewing is a dark eye-spot. At the rear wing are three or four dark eye-spots with a central white spot.
The wingspan is 32 to 42 mm. 
The eggs are laid in the grass. (half in the shade) The caterpillars feed on various species of grass.
Flight Time: March - October. Two, three generations.
It overwinters as a caterpillar or as a pupa.

Bont Zandoogje (Pararge aegeria). Onderfamilie Satyridae. Familie Nymphalidae. Male and female 6-5-2014. German: Waldbrettspiel. French: Tircis.

Pieridae

Small White (Pieris rapae)

Small White (Pieris rapae)

Small White (Pieris rapae)

Small White (Pieris rapae) Family Pieridae. 

Small White (Pieris rapae). Family Pieridae.

In Holland, there are generally 3 generations each year. Small White is creamy white with black tips to the forewings. Females also have two black spots in the center of the forewings. Its caterpillars can be a pest on cultivated cabbages, but it will readily lay eggs on wild members of the cabbage, as Garlic mustard . It hibernates as a pupa.
Wingspan 40 - 50 mm.
It is difficult to take photos, because they are very restless. 
It is widespread across Europe, North Africa and Asia and has also been accidentally introduced to North America, Australia and New Zealand  

German: Kleine Kohlweißling   French: Piéride de la rave, Petit Blanc du chou

 

Groot koolwitje (Pieris brassicae) Familie witjes (Pieridae). 

Groot koolwitje (Pieris brassicae) Familie witjes (Pieridae). 

Groot koolwitje (Pieris brassicae) Familie witjes (Pieridae). 

Groot koolwitje (Pieris brassicae) Familie witjes (Pieridae).  Large White or Cabbage White (Pieris brassicae).  Family Pieridae.

White
wings with black tips on the forewings. Generally more vertical than horizontal (difference with the Small White)  The female also has two black spots on each forewing. . Its caterpillars also feed on cultivated cabbages and members of the cabbage.
Wingspan 60 - 70 mm.
It hibernates as a pupa. They are flying from March to October.
The Large White is common throughout Europe, North Africa and Asia to the Himalayas.  
The caterpillars of a large white eating Annual Honesty or Silver Dollar (Lunaria annua)
  The caterpillars of a large white eating an honesty.     The caterpillars of a large white eating an honesty.  German: Große Kohlweißling   French: Piéride du chou
Green-veined White (Pieris napi) Family Pieridae. 

Green-veined White (Pieris napi) Family Pieridae.

Green-veined White (Pieris napi) Family Pieridae.

Green-veined White (Pieris napi) Family Pieridae.

Green-veined White (Pieris napi). Family Pieridae.

I
t rarely lays its eggs on garden cabbages, for it prefers wild crucifers, as Garlic mustard and Hedge mustard. It is often mistaken with the Large and Small Whites. Especially when it is flying. But the Green-veined White has grey greenish dusky vein markings on the undersides of the wings.
The female has two spots on each forewing, the male only one. (Not visible at all my photos)

It hibernates as a pupa.  
Wingspan 40 - 50 mm. March - October.
Widespread across Europe, Asia including the Indian subcontinent and North America.  

German: Rapsweißling   French:

 

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) Family Pieridae.

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) Family Pieridae. 

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) Family Pieridae.

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) Family Pieridae. Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni). Family Pieridae.

The males are lemon yellow-colored, the females are greenish white. Both have on each wing an orange brown spot. By the light veins, form and colour the wings resemble on a leaf. They always settle with their wings closed.
They overwinter and emerge the following year early.
Flying time from July to October and February - May. Each year there is one generation.
It lays its eggs on the leaves of either Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) or Alder Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) .
Wingspan about 55 mm.
Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia.

German: Zitronenfalter   French: Citron

 

 

 

Dark Clouded Yellow, Common Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus). Family Pieridae Dark Clouded Yellow, Common Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus). Family Pieridae. Not in the garden but in the dunes 4 km from our house.

The only photo. After that it flew away. Because of the bright sun, it is not a beautiful picture, but I have no other.
It looks like the Pale Clouded Yellow (Colias hyale) and Berger's Clouded Yellow (Colias alfacariensis). The dark band at the upper side of the wings isn't visible in this picture. When it flies it is distinguished by the orange colour. With this photo the other species are also possible but I have seen this common clouded yellow flying,.
The first generation is from Southern Europe and North Africa.
May - October. Two generations.
The caterpillar feeds on legumes, including alfalfa and vetch.
Wingspan about 40-50 mm.
Europe, North Africa and Asia.

Photo 10-10-2014.

Blues (Lycaenids)

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis, formely Plebeius agestis). Family Lycaenidae or Blues.

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis, formely Plebeius agestis). Family Lycaenidae or Blues.

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis, formely Plebeius agestis). Family Lycaenidae or Blues.

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis, formely Plebeius agestis). Family Lycaenidae or Blues. Brown Argus (Aricia agestis, formely Plebeius agestis). Family Lycaenidae or Blues.

The wings has a row of orange spots along the border.
You find them especially along the coast. But also along the rivers. Often on sandy soil.
Foodplant: Especially geranium species.

May - October. Two sometimes three generations.
The half-grown caterpillars hibernate. (in litter)

Central and Southern Europe.

German: Kleine Sonnenröschen-Bläuling   French: Collier-de-corail, argus brun

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) Family Lycaenids or Blues.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) Family Lycaenids or Blues.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) Family Lycaenids or Blues.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) Family Lycaenids or Blues.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus). Family Lycaenids or Blues.

The bright green caterpillars feed mostly on holly spindles, and ivy. All three shrubs are in our garden. The Holly Blue flies oft high up around trees and bushes in full sunlight.
It ‘s a small, beautiful butterfly. At
the upper side of the forewings only the females have broad black borders. But it’s difficult to see, for the adults don’t open their wings oft . They  only open their wings early in the morning or late in the evening to warm up in the sunshine.
It hibernates as a pupa. There are two broods a year.  
    

German: Faulbaum-Bläuling   French: L'azuré des nerpruns

Small Copper, American Copper or Common Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) Family Lycaenids or Blues.

Small Copper, American Copper or Common Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) Family Lycaenids or Blues.

Small Copper, American Copper or Common Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) Family Lycaenids or Blues.

Small Copper, American Copper or Common Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) Family Lycaenids or Blues.

Small Copper, American Copper or Common Copper (Lycaena phlaeas). Family Lycaenids or Blues.

The Small Copper belongs to the Blues, although there is not much blue on this butterfly. 
Wingspan: about 25 mm.
April - October. Three generators.
Hosts: Sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella) , Common Sorrel or Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
Caterpillar: August - May and May - July. It overwinters as a caterpillar.
The butterfly is found in the  Palearctic and the Nearctic      
    

German: Kleine Feuerfalter. French: Lycaena phlaeas.

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus). Family Lycaenidae.

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus). Female. Family Lycaenidae.

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus). Family Lycaenidae. Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus). Family Lycaenidae.

The drawing of the underside of the wings is very similar to that of the brown argus. This common blue held its wings folded. It was the first time I saw one in the garden. The upper side of the wings of the male is blue, of the female blue but also brown.
Wingspan 25-30 mm.
April to October. Two sometimes three generations. The caterpillar overwinters.
Host plants for caterpillars: Plants of the pea, or bean familyas many clover species.
Europe. Photos 16-8-2012, 14-8-2013.
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus). Family Lycaenidae. A beautiful blue Common Blue, 13-5-2014.

German: Hauhechel-Bläuling. French: us bleu ou Azuré commun ou Azuré de la Bugrane.

Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium ilicis). Family Lycaenidae.

Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium ilicis). Family Lycaenidae. Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium ilicis). Family Lycaenidae. Not in the garden but in the dunes 4 km from our house.

The upper side of the wings is dark brown. The underside of the wings is brown with a row of small white spots. On the lower wings are above some orange spots, a white line and a tail. 
In the Netherlands it's a fairly rare butterfly, which occurs mostly on sandy soil. Similar species are the White-letter Hairstreak (Satyrium w-album) and the Black Hairstreak (Satyrium pruni) 
Wingspan 16-18 mm. 
June - August One generation. It overwinters as an egg on a branch or trunk. 
Host plants for caterpillars: Oak. Butterflies are often (as in this photo) on the flower burr. 
Europe, Asia Minor. 
Photos 24-6-2014.  German: Braune Eichen-Zipfelfalter. French: Thécla de l'yeuse.

Hesperiidae.
Skippers are recognizable by the large head and short wings. They have the antennae clubs hooked backward. At rest the forewings are folded together or held at 45o angle, while the rear wings remain open and flat. Grasses are host plants of the caterpillars of the most skippers.

Not in the garden but in the dunes 4 km from my house. I've seen in our garden, but I could not take photos at that moment. 

Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus, synonym Ochlodes faunus). Family skippers or skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae).e).

Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus, synonym Ochlodes faunus). Family skippers or skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae).

.

Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus, synonym Ochlodes faunus). Family skippers or skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae).

The underside of the rear wing is yellowish brown with light spots. Host plants: Various species of grasses. Sandy and peat grounds. Grasslands (no clay), forest clearings. Overwinters as half-grown caterpillar. June - August. Wingspan 25 - 32 mm.  

Europe.  Photos 15-7-2012, 17-6-2013

 

Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola). Family skippers or skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae). Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola). Family skippers or skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae).

Lichtbruim to yellow, without drawing, at the upperside of the wings. The underside of antennae club is black. (difference with Thymelicus sylvestris.) Flowery places with tall grasses.
Eggs on the stems of grasses where they remain over the winter. May - August. Wingspan 22 - 26 mm.  Europe. Introduced to North America in 1910. 

Photo 15-7-2012.

A beautiful site with much information:   The Garden Safari
Butterflies all over the world by Adrian Hoskins: Butterflies the complete guide of butterflies and moths.


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