Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus malvae/malvoides)
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2018 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
|One of several Pyrgus species that occur in France, but the only representative of this group in the UK. Malvae is slightly smaller than most other Pyrgus, and rather darker. The white marks are quite extensive, more so than most Pyrgus, and the (usually arched) submarginal marks are usually present to a greater or lesser degree, strongly on the uph and to a lesser extent on the upf. It is an early emerger, being on the wing in France from the end of April and single-brooded, although malvoides (see opposite) is double brooded in non-mountainous regions. I feel the cleft "clothes peg" discal mark, which appears on both the uph and the unh, is a clear indicator of malvae where there may otherwise be doubt. In addition, the underside is quite dark brown with pronounced yellower veins and distinctly smaller marks than other Pyrgus.||In south-west Europe, including the southern half of France, the subspecies malvoides occurs in place of malvae. It is generally said to be indistinguishable from malvae on external characteristics (only by examination of the genitalia) although I have seen it commented that the upperside submarginal marks are less distinct in malvoides. All of the photographs on this page are, I believe, malvoides, (with the possible exception of 14468) and this feature seems to hold true here. It is suggested that intermediate forms may occur in the boundary area in central France. In the new European taxonomy, malvoides is now given the status of a species in its own right, no longer a subspecies of malvae.|
rather indistinct white markings in the usual places and some rather faint markings in the remaining areas.
a deep dark brown ground colour and strong white markings plus a white-ish band in the upf submarginal area. As such it could not be confused with any other Pyrgus species.
the rare aberration taras with extended white upf marks, which I have now seen on two occasions.
|40250||M||a typically-marked male with a cold grey-brown ground colour.||140|
|40353||M||a male with a rather large cell spot and an untypical warmish brown ground colour.||220|
|40874||M||a male from high altitude with extensive white markings, giving it a rather pale appearance.||2300|
|31324||F||a typical malvae, probably a female based on the body shape.||2180|
a rather worn female, but included here because of the large upf marks, especially the cell spot.
very sharply marked with highly sagittate submarginal markings, especially on the uph. A rather more worn male is approaching from below.
|42354||F||a female, showing the uph discal mark to be simply a straight line, even in a fresh specimen such as 42354 and not as a result of ageing. This is not untypical for this species (see also 40250).||220|
a male, I think, even though the abdominal hair tuft is not entirely clear. The small discrete white marks show up well against the darker ground colour. The s1 discal mark is minute even by malvae standards, and the s2 discal mark is completely absent.
|32522||M||a male, roosting in overcast conditions. The unh ground colour is quite dark and reddish for this species.||1080|
|34665||M||a male roosting is overcast conditions. The markings are quite large by malvae standards and some of them are nicely black-edged, especially the discal mark in s4/5. The photograph was taken in very poor light using ISO 800 (I usually use ISO 100), hence the grainy nature of the photograph.||220|