I think the three most-likely species are:
- Erebia aethiops
- Erebia ligea
- Erebia meolans
Other similar species:
- It is not Erebia montana (in which the orange band on the forewing is wedge-shaped)
- I don't think it is Erebia styx (the small and offset forewing spot always seems abent)
- Erebia pronoe is variable, but I don't think it is quite right
- Also, Erebia euryale seems not quite right
I have not checked is the distributions cover your area of N. Italy.
I hope you have photos of the undersides of your specimen.
Use them to compare with all the species above.
...and let us know...
unfortunately I have not been able to shot the undersides, I checked the Italian checklist and they are all presents.
Based on the photos the one that look the same is the E. aethiops, but I don't know if the fourth ocellus in the front wings must be present or is a variation, because I saw some specimen have 3 ocellus and some other 4.
Thanks for your help!
I think we can sort this out. I am using two reference books - Collins (which has drawings) and Haahtela et al (photos).
Both my books say that ligea has a strongly chequered fringe (both males and females) so on that basis your butterfly which has no fringe is not ligea.
Both my books show the orange post discal band as present in S2 on the forewing for meolans while your butterfly doesn't have this. So it is not meolans.
This leaves us with aethiops. Collins shows the male as in your butterfly while the female would have a noticeable fringe and a fourth spot on the forewing, so aethiops male. Which brings me to http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/message/33775#33775 which you photographed on the same day. I have added a comment to this.