Marsh European Lepidoptera Award

2011 - Tristan Lafranchis

Tristan has published an authoritative publication on the plants of Greece, but his first, and lifelong love of butterflies is now absorbing his time as he works a new book on the ecology and life history of the butterflies of France. Having worked as a consultant on butterflies in France for many years Tristan emigrated to Greece at the beginning of this century having become disillusioned with ‘conservation’ in France. Those who have accompanied him in the field are constantly amazed how the combination of botanical and butterfly knowledge produce an insight into a butterfly fauna that is shared by very few. If the food plant is there he will find the egg or the caterpillar. This sort of knowledge is the product of a field season that starts in February and ends in November. Much of this time is spent under canvas whatever the weather.

In 2004 Tristan’s ‘Butterflies of Europe’ was published in English. This is by far the best key to identifying the butterflies of Europe available today and most of us carry a copy on our field trips to Europe. It may not be perfect, and some of us would declare that identifying (all) butterflies is far from easy, in contrast to the bold statement on the front of the book, but it is, nevertheless, a thoroughly well thought out key. In addition to the key, it does describe the means by which ‘genitalia’ can be used to differentiate difficult species.

Without doubt, this book has done much to improve and refine the discipline of butterfly identification and we are indebted to Tristan for this invaluable work.


Butterfly Conservation
Manor Yard
East Lulworth

T: 01929 400209