Grizzled Skipper

Pyrgus malvae 


Photo by (Steve Covey) click on the photograph (or here) to see steve's other photo's

Wingspan 23 - 29mm

The Grizzled Skipper is the first of the skippers to emerge. The butterfly is dark brown above, fringed with white, with a checkerboard pattern of white spots. Like the other skippers, this butterfly is a fast flier which can be difficult to follow due to its ability to vanish during its erratic flight. Both sexes can be found basking in the sun perched on bare earth or stones in a sheltered spot. It may occasionally nectar on spring flowers such as Buttercup or Bird’s-foot-trefoil. 

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Flight Period
Normally from mid-April until the end of June. 

Larval Food plants
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)
Barren Strawberry (Potentilla sterilis)
Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans)
Tormentil (Potentilla erecta)
Bramble (Rubus fruticosus)
Dog-rose (Rosa canina)
Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba minor)
Wood Avens (Geum urbanum) 

Habitat Requirements
This butterfly occurs in a variety of habitats where warmth and shelter is available along with its larval food plant. Habitats including chalk downland, disused railway lines, woodland rides and woodland edges, unimproved grassland and waste ground. These habitats should also provide patches of bare ground where it can bask. 

UK BAP species
Wilts BAP species
Resident, widespread but scarce and local, declining both in abundance and distribution (North and West). 

Wiltshire Sites
Bentley Wood 

Earliest sightings
Earliest county record 31 March 2003 Boscombe Down (Tony Horner)
Latest county record, 15 July 1986 Picket Wood (Mike Fuller).
A singleton seen in a wood near Trowbridge on 1 Aug 1941 (Bowmont Weddell) was probably of a very rare partial 2nd generation