benuncus from N Africa is striking. The underside white spots link
Switzerland, July 2005
Spotted Skipper Hesperia comma
Distribution: Most of Europe, sporadic in S Spain and S Italy. Absent
from most of northern Scandinavia and only present on chalk hills in S England
(although expanding rapidly over the past few years (2006). North Africa.
Identification: It resembles the other "Golden" Skippers but
is readily distinguished by the bright white spots on the underside usually on a
green ground colour. See also the
Identification Page for Golden
Flight time: Summer - July and August, worn in September.
Habitat: Hills and mountains over grassy flowery places. In the UK
(and perhaps elsewhere) strictly a calcareous butterfly but more generally any
open grassy place can be accepted. Often at high levels in the Alps, to over
2000m.Larvae take Festuca ovina.
Behaviour: As with most skippers it flies rapidly low over the ground.
Frequently visits flowers for nectar.