Alpine Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus andromedae)
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2012 photos highlighted in orange. Click on any photo to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
A high altitude Pyrgus, with a normal minimum altitude of 1600m, although generally found much higher. Based on my limited experience it is a rather scruffy species, the upperside ground being a dirty dark grey-brown with strong but rather unclear upf white marks. The upf ID keys are the three white marks in the discal region of s1/2, although these are sometimes obscure, and the oblique well-defined long discal streaks in s7, plus maybe
a relatively weak cell spot. The uph is largely unmarked, the marks being rather obscure and scruffy. The underside is similarly rather dark and untidy compared to most of its Pyrgus cousins, similar to the Dusky Grizzled Skipper (P. cacaliae) with which it often flies, and is identifiable by the unh marks in s1.
a male, matching the photograph in the Lafranchis France book, where the three upf discal marks in s1/2 are equally obscure. I am fairly confident that this andromedae.
a male, with the three upf discal marks in s1/2 are rather better defined.
I am not suggesting that 22288 is andromedae, but equally it does not seem to fit any other species, so I leave it here for comment. The strongly marked uph rules out cacaliae and probably also andromedae as I am sure this is beyond the limits of variation for these two species. Equally the weak upf marks seem to rule out everything except the Large Grizzled Skipper (P. alveus). Maybe the upf marks are just within the limits for andromedae. Occasionally a Pyrgus turns up that is rather oddly marked and does not seem to fit the template for any species. This may be one of them.