Oberthür's Grizzled Skipper

Pyrgus armoricanus


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Pyrgus armoricanus

Male, Switzerland, April 2017

Pyrgus armoricanus

Female, Switzerland, May 2014

Pyrgus armoricanus

Switzerland, May 2016

Pyrgus armoricanus

Male, Switzerland, May 2011

Pyrgus armoricanus

Val d'Aran, Pyrenees, July 2007

Pyrgus armoricanus

Male, Switzerland, August 2012

Pyrgus armoricanus

Male, Switzerland, May 2014

Pyrgus armoricanus

Male, Switzerland, May 2014

Switzerland, May 2011



Switzerland, September 2010

Switzerland, May 2011

Pyrgus armoricanus

Male, Val d'Aran, Spanish Pyrenees, July 2008

France, August 2008

France, August 2008

Pyrgus armoricanus distribution

Distribution

Oberthür's grizzled skipper is widespread and sometimes locally common in the southern half of Europe, flying in hot, flowery grassland up to about 1700m. In Switzerland it is very local and I only know it from a handful of places. I have also seen it in France, near Lyon, and in the Pyrenees.

The male upperside is rather bright, often with plenty of pale suffusion, especially at the bases of the wings. The spots on the forewing are bold and complete and those on the hindwing strong and conspicuous, especially the large, central spot. The hindwing spots are always off-white, rather than the pure white of the grizzled skipper. The female is similar, though the hindwing spots are a little more obscure and less well defined. The underside is similar to that of large grizzled skipper but brighter, with an orange tone and well defined, light veins. Voltinism can help with identification. Oberthür's grizzled skipper is double-brooded, appearing on the wing in April or May, so long before large and carline skippers are flying. I have seen second brood adults still on the wing in September. The broods are quite protracted, however, and individuals can be seen throughout the summer, so the voltinism doesn't help with individuals seen in June or July. Where it overlaps with Foulquier's grizzled skipper, the lack of substantial hair tufts at the tip of the male abdomen helps idenfitication.

The larvae feed on various Potentilla species and rock rose, hibernating in their 4th instar.