Carcharodus alceae

Mallow Skipper

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: alceae

Valais, Switzerland, March 2012

Photo: alceae

Valais, Switzerland, July 2007

Field notes and information

A widespread and common species in most of central and southern Europe. Often amongst the first butterflies on the wing in spring and common throughout the summer.

Identification & Similar species: The upperside has few, often indistinct, markings on the hindwing and fine hyline (clear transparent) patches on the forewing discal area. The underside hindwing is dark grey or grey-brown with a prominent, contrasting pale cell spot - in most similar species this spot forms part of a discal band and the contrast is less marked.

The false mallow skipper C. tripolinus is found in southwest Iberian peninuslar. It is essentially indistinguishable from the current species, apart from male genitalia.

Distribution & Flight: A widespread and common species in most of central and southern Europe. It is absent north of the latitude running roughly through northern France. Flies from March to October or later depending on location in a succession of broods.

Habitat & Behaviour: Diverse habitats, usually flowery grassy places but also hot dry rocky places and alpine locations. It shows some signs of territorial behaviour, often patrolling the same corner of a field or stretch of woodland path and disappearing in a whirring battle for a few moments when challenged by other passing skippers or butterflies.

Photo: alceae

Asturias Mts, Spain, July 2011

Photo: alceae

Valais, Switzerland, April 2010

Photo: alceae

Valais, Switzerland, July 2011

Photo: alceae

Malaga, Spain, April 2009

Based on location, this could well be the false mallow skipper, M. tripolinus.

Photo: alceae

Corsica, France, July 2012

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2010

Photo: alceae

S Greece, June 2013

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S Greece, June 2013

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Crete, Greece, April 2014