Borbo borbonica

Zeller's Skipper

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Field notes and information

A miracle. In 2011 the species was "rediscovered" in Spain. It had not been recorded for many many decades. If it was known from Spain during the intervening period the people who knew about it kept it very quiet. By 2014 it was common and widespread in parts of Cadiz province and also recorded from Gibraltar and from a couple of sites in Malaga.

Identification & Similar species: Similar to the the Mediterranean skipper Gegenes nostrodamus with which it can fly. The current species is much larger and has large very clearly defined spots and the underside hindwing is well marked and is a bright yellow-green in fresh specimens particularly females.

Distribution & Flight: In Spain a population explosion occurred between 2011 and 2014 in Cadiz. I found it to be widespread and common in October 2014. I also found it in Malaga and on Gibraltar. It has always been rarely and sporadically recorded from Morocco.

It flies from spring to October in 2 or 3 broods, being much commoner in the last brood in September and October.

Habitat & Behaviour: Associated with the banks of slow moving rivers and damp areas in lowlands.

The butterfly warms up in early morning initially with wings closed and perpendicular to the sun, then with wings open. This is followed by a period of frenzied activity and, presumably, distribution. Then feeding starts followed by mating and by around mid day activity drops suddenly to almost nothing and the butterfly becomes hard to find.

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonicaPhoto: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonicaPhoto: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Malaga, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonicaPhoto: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonicaPhoto: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonicaPhoto: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Gibraltar, October 2014

Photo: borbonica

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Butterflies profit from nectar available in gardens etc.