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.