Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae)
Male. Taken in the Paklenica National Park, Croatia, on June 9th 2017.
(1/500th sec at f14. Approx 3x lifesize)
Female. Taken at Dola Kula, Bulgaria, on June 20th 2014.
(1/320th sec at f11. Approx 3x lifesize)
© David Hastings
DescriptionWing span: 30 - 35mm
An attractive skipper with small white markings on its upper forewings, which have a distinct marbled pattern with a pinkish hue.
This species is found across Europe (except for the UK and Scandinavia). It is replaced in SW Iberia and some Greek islands by the False Mallow Skipper.
Its habitat is lush to very dry grassy places, often with flowers and amongst scrub or woodland.
This species is polyvoltine, with three or more broods per year. The larva is the over-wintering stage.
The primary larval foodplant is Malva sylvestris. Other mallows are also used.
Like other skippers, it flies rapidly low over the ground. It shows some signs of territorial behaviour, often patrolling the same corner of a field or stretch of woodland path, and investigating other passing insects. Rival males will be seen off.