The Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae
is a butterfly
of the Hesperiidae
Appearance, Behaviour and Distribution
With its characteristic chequered black and white pattern this butterfly is quite distinctive although old, faded individuals can be mistaken for the Dingy Skipper or the Burnet Campion Moth.
It is distributed throughout the Palearctic region except the far North and the Iberian Peninsula, and eastwards as far as China and Korea.
Its main habitat in Britain is chalk downland but others used include scrubby grasslands, woodland clearings and disused artificial habitat. The butterfly occurs throughout southern and central England, and Wales, but has declined in several areas, especially in the non-chalk habitat.
Lifecycle and Foodplants
The females lay eggs singly on species of the Rosaceae
, usually Agrimony Agrimonia eupitoria
, Creeping Cinquefoil Potentilla reptens
and Wild Strawberry Fragaria vesca
Other plants used occasionally are Barren Strawberry P.sterilis, Tormentil P. erecta, Salad Burnet Sanguisorba minor, Bramble Rubus fruticosus, Dog-rose Rosa canina and Wood Avens Geum urbanum.
On hatching the caterpillars build shelters for use when they are not feeding. The larvae spin pupal cocoons and overwinter before emerging the following spring. The adult butterfly flies from the end of April until the middle of June.
Pyrgus Malvae is the name of a faerie who is son of the Purple Emperor
, Apatura Iris in the Faerie Wars
series by author Herbie Brennan
References and external links