Cinqfoil Skipper

Pyrgus cirsii


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France, August 2009

France, August 2009

France, August 2009

France, August 2009

France, August 2009

France, August 2009

France, August 2009

These pictures, of several different individuals, were all taken at a known colony of cinqfoil skipper and I am confident about the identity. It is, however, a species easily confused with many others and official records are generally not accepted without specimens being taken for dissection. 

On the upperside, features to look for are the conjoined, sinuous, post-discal spots in space 1 of the upperside forewing, the very solid, broadly rectangular cell spot, the bright, well-marked upperside hindwing and the red colour to the underside of the hindwing. Overall, the species has a real chess-board feel about it - solid, square white markings on a dark background.

The species is very rare, perhaps extinct, in Switzerland, and I have to conclude that my own previous records for it here must be in error. But having now had experience of it in France I feel I know better what I am looking for and will keep my eyes open!