Saturday, 15 June 2013

Grizzlies ...

West Sussex, 10 June 2013

The tiny Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus malvae) typically occurs in small colonies of less than 100 individuals. It is found in England south of a line extended from West Gloucestershire in the west to North Lincolnshire in the east, with strongholds in central and southern England. There are scattered colonies further north and in Wales. This species is absent from Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Despite the suggestion in its specific name, malvaeP. malvae larvae do not feed on flowers of the mallow genus; though several closely related European species do feed on Malvaceae.

The adult emerges in late April, the first of the British Skipper species, and usually flies until the end of June. There is one generation each year, although there may be a small second brood in some seasons, when conditions are favourable.

This is a warmth-loving species, and both sexes bask in the sun for long periods, typically on a stone, leaf or bare earth. This is an active insect which will fly at most times the day, and even into the evening, if conditions are warm enough. The male is somewhat territorial and will chase any butterfly, irrespective of size, from its area. Females entering the territory are courted for a short period and, if the female is receptive, pairing occurs. The butterfly can be found roosting on heads of flowers and grasses during cool weather and at night.






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