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Spialia doris

Aden Skipper

Field Notes

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High Atlas, Morocco, 1500m, July 2005


High Atlas, Morocco, 1500m, July 2005


High Atlas, Morocco, 1500m, July 2005

The butterflies above were in this gulley.


Anti Atlas, Morocco, July 2005

We found Aden Skipper in this very typical wadi here in May 1996.
Nothing at all flying in July 2005 with the temperature at 45 degC.


The family resemblance to the Red Underwing Skipper, S. sertorius is clear. By contrast, the distribution of the Aden Skipper is restricted to Morocco to desert gulleys and, in places, to the southern slopes of the High Atlas mountains. It does fly further east from Egypt to India and, presumably, includes Aden. We were lucky to find the butterfly in July, which is late for the majority of colonies but at higher altitudes in the High Atlas this is more normal. The typical flight period for the lower colonies is April/ May and September. Perhaps the July flight period from 1500m indicates a single brood, or a 3rd "bridging" brood.

The flight is always very fast and the small butterfly is extremely difficult to follow. Luckily it tends to return to the same patch where it can be stalked for photos. That said, it flies in extremely hot places and waiting in the blazing sun for it to return is not always such a pleasant past time. The rewards are worth it though.