Large grizzled skipper

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For the other butterfly with this common name, see Spialia dromus.
Large grizzled skipper
Pyrgus alveus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hesperiidae
Genus: Pyrgus
Species: P. alveus
Binomial name
Pyrgus alveus
(Hübner, 1803)
Pyrgus alveus, Bavaria, June 2015

The large grizzled skipper (Pyrgus alveus) is a species of skipper butterfly (family Hesperiidae). It is distributed throughout most of continental Europe but is absent from Denmark and practically all European islands including Great Britain, Ireland, Azores, Balearic Islands, Channel Islands, Canary Islands, Crete, Cyprus, Iceland, etc.

This is a rather variable species with a wingspan of 22–32 mm (not always particularly "large") with several subspecies having been described. As with most Pyrgus species it has dark brown wings with pale chequered margins and is rather difficult to identify specifically in the field but good views reveal clear, well-spaced white spotting on the forewing and much fainter markings on the hindwings. The most likely confusion species is the safflower skipper (P. carthami). P. alveus is on the wing from June to August with one or two generations produced each year.

The larva has been recorded feeding on Agrimonia, Helianthemum, Polygala, Potentilla and Rubus.


  • Whalley, Paul - Mitchell Beazley Guide to Butterflies (1981, reprinted 1992) ISBN 0-85533-348-0

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