Large chequered skipper

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Large chequered skipper
Heteropterus morpheus1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hesperiidae
Genus: Heteropterus
Duméril, 1806
Species: H. morpheus
Binomial name
Heteropterus morpheus
(Pallas, 1771)[1]
  • Papilio morpheus Pallas, 1771
  • Papilio steropes Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775
  • Papilio speculum Rottemburg, 1775
  • Papilio aracinthus Fabricius, 1777

The large chequered skipper (Heteropterus morpheus) is a butterfly of the Hesperiidae family. It is the single member of the monotypic genus Heteropterus. The species can be found in isolated populations in Europe and east across the Palearctic to Central Asia and Korea. It is endangered in the Netherlands.

Specimen in southern France

The length of the forewings is 15–18 mm. The butterfly is on the wing from June to August, depending on the location.

The larvae feed on Eriophorum, Poa annua, Calamagrostis canescens, Brachypodium and Molinia species (including Molinia coerulea).

As can be seen, the butterfly has a very distinctive and attractive underside but a drab upperside (which is rarely seen, as it usually settles with wings closed).

The flight is just as distinctive and indeed provides immediate identification of the species: it appears to bounce through the air with little sense of direction, almost as if drunk.

In France, it has been seen in the south west including, in 2011, the Hautes-Pyrénées department.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Heteropterus at