Alpine Grizzled Skipper

Pyrgus andromedae


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Pyrgus andromedae

Switzerland, June 2015

Pyrgus andromedae

Switzerland, June 2015



Switzerland, July 2013

Pyrgus andromedae

Switzerland, July 2019

Pyrgus andromedae

Switzerland, July 2019



Switzerland, June 2011

Pyrgus andromedae

Switzerland, July 2013

Pyrgus andromedae

Switzerland, July 2013



Switzerland, June 2011



Switzerland, June 2011



Switzerland, June 2011



Switzerland, June 2011

Pyrgus andromedae distribution

Distribution

In the mountains of central and southern Europe, this is a high-altitude butterfly, found typically from 1500m to 2500m, though up to 3000m in places. In Scandinavia, like many northern species, it flies much closer to sea level, and not higher than 1000m. It is a local butterfly but widespread and relatively common. I know several places where I can reliably expect to see it in Switzerland. It is one of the earlier of the high mountain butterflies, appearing on the wing as early as May in years when the snow melts early - more commonly June - and usually over by the end of July.

Although superficially very similar to other Pyrgus species, the alpine grizzled skipper is quite unmistakable when you are familiar with it. On the upperside, the basal spots in ss.1 and 2 are elongate and there is usually a third spot above them, completing the series with the cell spot. This third spot is not always obvious in weakly marked individuals. Males are quite heavily suffused whitish, giving them a 'cold' appearance. The hindwing markings are diffuse and nebulous, the submarginal spots resembling (to me) a diaphanous veil. If you examine the second picture above I think you will see exactly what I mean. Beneath, the markings are also cold - white on dull green. The spots in s.1 of the hindwing are often likened to an exclammation mark - a spot and a streak. This is not entirely apt but these markings are distinctive nonetheless. They are sometimes joined along the inner edge of the hindwing.

The foodplants are Potentilla species - Potentilla erecta in Switzerland. Lafranchis states that Dryas octopetala is used in Austria. The species hibernates as a caterpillar and flies in a single generation.