Carcharodus alceae

Mallow Skipper


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
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Samos, Greece, June 2018

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S Greece, July 2018

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.

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Asturias Mts, Spain, July 2011

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Valais, Switzerland, March 2020

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2021

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Rhodes, Greece, May 2017

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Valais, Switzerland, March 2019

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Sicily, Italy, May 2018

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Tilos, Greece, May 2017

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Granada, Spain, May 2019

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Chios, Greece, June 2018

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S Greece, July 2018

Very long tongue serves it's purpose here on this mallow flower.

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2010

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Rhodes, Greece, May 2017

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Simi, Greece October 2018

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2007

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2011