Chequered Skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon)

Male. Taken near Borino, Bulgaria on June 23rd 2014.
(1/200th sec at f13. Approx 3x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 29 - 31mm

A small, distinctively marked skipper. Its upper surfaces are dark brown with yellow patches. The sexes are similar.

It is widespread over central and northern Europe, except for most of the British Isles (it became extinct in England in 1976) and around the Baltic Sea. In its southern range it is found in uplands above 1000m.

Typical habitats are semi-shaded, such as forest edges and clearings, grassy damp meadows and river valleys.

There is one generation between May and June, and until the end of July at high altitudes. Larvae can take 10 months to grow large enough to pupate.

Larval foodplants are a variety of grasses, such as Molinia, Calamagrostis, Bromus, etc.

Adults feed primarily on Bluebell, Bramble, Bugle and Ground Ivy.

Males tend to congregate in small patches, making short, investigative sorties from suitable perches.

This species has Endangered status on the UK list.


23-Jun-2014 : Trigrad Gorge, Bulgaria
23-Jun-2014 : Borino, Bulgaria