Oberthür's grizzled skipper
|Oberthür's grizzled skipper|
Oberthür's grizzled skipper (Pyrgus armoricanus) is a species of skipper (family Hesperiidae). The species is named after the French entomologist Charles Oberthür (1845–1924) who originally described it.
- Pyrgus armoricanus maroccanus Picard, 1950 (Algeria and Morocco)
- Pyrgus armoricanus persicus (Reverdin, 1913)
Distribution and habitat
This species can be found throughout Europe although it is commoner in the south and absent from the British Isles and most of Scandinavia. It is also present in Northwest Africa. These butterflies mainly inhabit hot grassy flowery meadows and in dry, rocky and herbaceous forests, at an elevation of 0–1,800 metres (0–5,906 ft) above sea level.
Pyrgus armoricanus has a wingspan of 24–28 mm. Both wings have a white fringe along the edges. The upperside of the forewings is dark brown with well developed white markings. On the recto of the hindwings there are clearly visible grayish marks. The underside of the hindwings shows a pale reddish-brown colour with a large pale discal spot and light coloured veins. The males and females are similar in appearance.
Like all Pyrgus species, it can be very difficult to identify in the field. The upperside of the forewings are often noticeably darker brown than other Pyrgus species, especially when fresh, with clear white markings. It resembles some smaller races of large grizzled skipper (P. alveus). It is slightly larger than Pyrgus malvae.
The eggs are yellowish, roundish and flattened, with numerous, strong longitudinal ribs. The caterpillars have strong short hairs. They are mostly dark brown to gray-brown, rarely greenish brown or reddish-brown with a black head. Pupae are strongly bluish-frosted with black dots and dashes on the back.
P. armoricanus flies in May and June with a second generation in the south of the range in August and September. Adults of this second generation are usually smaller than those of the first. The females lay their eggs individually on the underside of the leaves of host plants.
In most of Europe the larva feeds on Potentilla species (Potentilla tabernaemontani, Potentilla reptans, Potentilla arenaria, Potentilla pedata) and woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca). In southern Scandinavia (Sweden and Denmark), however, the main larval food plant is Filipendula vulgaris and to some extent also Helianthemum nummularium. The caterpillar overwinters.
- Juan L. Hernandez-Roldan at al. Comparative analysis and taxonomic use of the morphology of immature stages and natural history traits in European species of Pyrgus Hübner (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae, Pyrginae)
- V. K. Tuzov et al.: Guide to the Butterflies of Russia and adjacent territories. 480 S., Sofia und Moskau 1997
- Erik Öckinger: Possible Metapopulation Structure of the Threatened Butterfly Pyrgus armoricanus in Sweden. Journal of Insect Conservation, 10(1): 43–51, London 2006 doi:10.1007/s10841-005-1249-7
- Nimet Sema Gençer, Orkun Barış Kovanci und Bahattin Kovanci: Distribution and Current Status of Hesperiidae and Pieridae Species (Lepidoptera) Occurring in Bursa Province, Northwestern Turkey. Turkish Journal of Zoology, 33: 215-223, Ankara 2009 doi:10.3906/zoo-0802-8
- Vadim V. Tshikolovets: Butterflies of Eastern Europe, Urals and Caucasus. 176 S., Selbstverlag von V. Tshikovolets, Kiew & Brünn 2003 ISBN 966-02-2861-9.
- Whalley, Paul - Mitchell Beazley Guide to Butterflies (1981, reprinted 1992) ISBN 0-85533-348-0
- Fauna europaea
- Eilers, S. (2013). "Micro-climate determines oviposition site selection and abundance in the butterfly Pyrgus armoricanus at its northern range margin". Ecological Entomology. doi:10.1111/een.12008.
- Paolo Mazzei, Daniel Morel, Raniero Panfili Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa
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