Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae)

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2016 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

16185_male_Var_17Jun09 16805_male_Alpes-Maritimes_27Jun09 5551_male_Var_16May07
34432_male_Var_12Apr14 24730_female_Var_13May11 9812_female_Var_19Apr08
   
15554_pair_Var_29May09    
A small buzzy skipper, very frequently encountered but rarely in more than ones and twos. It has a very appealing deep brown colouring when fresh, but can rapidly develop a rather scruffy appearance.

The specimens I encounter in Var and environs have uph discal marks that are dark and poorly contrasted, so confusion with other Carcharodus species is not an issue. However, it does appear that alceae can have a rather lighter discal mark in some populations, and this seems to be exacerbated with ageing.

It is similar to the Tufted Marbled Skipper (C. flocciferus) (which in fact I believe is more similar to alceae than to the Marbled Skipper (C. lavatherae), despite the name), although flocciferus is larger (this is obvious when you've seen them both) and has clear white marks in the discal area of the uph, and the ground colour is grey when fresh, often a dark slate grey.
ref sex

observations

alt. m
16185 M

quite a warm brown colouring.

140
16805: M

very fresh, pristine.

900
5551 M

typically rich brown colouring.

185
34432 M a typical male. 20
24730 F a typical female. 140
9812 F

a rather battered female.

185
15554 PAIR

a mating pair, male above, as can be seen from the abdominal hair tuft.

185

 

16185_male_Var_17Jun09

 

16805_male_Alpes-Maritimes_27Jun09

 

5551_male_Var_16May07

 

34432_male_Var_12Apr14

 

24730_female_Var_13May11

 

9812_female_Var_19Apr08

 

15554_pair_Var_29May09