Spialia sertorius

Red Underwing Skipper

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: sertorius

Valais, Switzerland, May 2015

Photo: sertorius

Valais, Switzerland, June 2012

Field notes and information

A small butterfly that flies very fast and close to the ground.

Identification & Similar species: Very similar to the orbed red underwing skipper S. orbifer which replaces the current species in the east. That species is rather greener on the underside hindwing and the spots are more rounded.

Distribution & Flight: North Africa and western Europe to Germany and Italy. Replaced on Sardinia and Corsica by the taxon S. therapne which is now generally recognised as a full species.

Habitat & Behaviour: It likes settling on hot ground and can be found taking salts from damp patches of earth.

Variation: In north Africa, the subspecies ali flies. This is distinctly different in appearance to the normal form but it doesn't attract the same taxonomic debate as its cousins from Corsica and Sardinia.

Photo: sertorius

Vaud, Switzerland, May 2012

Photo: sertorius

Valais, Switzerland, June 2012

Photo: sertorius

Valais, Switzerland, May 2015

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Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

ssp. ali.

Photo: sertorius

Hautes Alpes, France, July 2013

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Jura, France, June 2014

Egg laying.

Photo: sertoriusPhoto: sertorius

Sierra Nevada, Spain, July 2013

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

Photo: sertorius

Middle Atlas, Morocco, June 2005

Ssp. ali.

Photo: sertorius

Pyrénées Orientales, France, May 2006

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Var, France, May 2012

Photo: sertorius

Hautes Alpes, France, August 2012

Photo: sertorius

Valais, Switzerland, July 2011