Large Chequered Skipper (Heteropterus morpheus)

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2020 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

2787_male_Italy_17Jul06 99-01_female_Gironde_Jul99

A strange butterfly, even by skipper standards. It has a very unusual underside as can be seen from 2787 above and a rather drab but rarely-seen upperside (99-01), as it usually settles with its wings closed.

It has a characteristic bouncing flight, in which it seems to have difficulty getting off the ground, such that it can’t be mistaken in flight for anything else. In France it has a very western distribution where I have seen it near Bordeaux and in the French Pyrénées. It does not fly in the PACA region, or anywhere near, which explains the absence of photographs on this page.
ref sex


alt. m
2787 M

a male underside, as indicated by the hair tuft at the end of the abdomen. The photograph was taken in Italy, west of Lake Garda. As it only occurs in a small area in Italy, I was probably fortunate to find it there.

99-01 F

the only time I have seen the upperside.