Chequered Skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon)

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2017 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

12576_male_Isère_10Jul08 32660_male_Nièvre_14Jun13 35143_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_1Jun14
35146_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_1Jun14 41960_male_Savoie_24Jul16 35141_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_1Jun14
   
12425_male_Isère_10Jul08    

The highlight of an otherwise disappointing trip (from a butterfly perspective) to the Pyrénées in 2004 was that palaemon was seen in five different locations. It is not uncommon in eastern central France, I find, but they tend to be rather sedentary and hard to spot.

 

In 2005, I chanced upon a thriving colony in Ain, where maybe as many as fifteen individuals could be counted. Their "buzzy" flight makes them harder to track than most skippers. The colouration varies quite significantly.

Since then, I have found them fairly regularly at most locations in eastern France, and in one location in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence where there have only been two previous records in that département. I revisited this site in 2014 and there were several individuals seen flying there, indicating that it was (is) quite a healthy colony.

It is usually a species of medium altitudes (around 1000m) but 41960 was seen at 1830m, whereas the books say the maximum altitude is 1800m. Although this is within that range, it indicates that that the altitude ranges should not be taken literally.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
12576 M

typically orange.

1120
32660 M a slightly worn male seen in the cold and boggy region of the Morvan in central France. 620
35143 M a rather orange male, especially on the forewing. The extent of the orange suggests that this specimen could be considered as an aberration. 1100
35146 M a very typical, fresh male. 1100
41960 M a high altitude male, with slightly darker markings (or less orange), perhaps an altitude effect. 1830
35141 M an underside view, the photograph having been rotated through 180 degrees for convenience. This is probably the underside of 35146. 1100
12425 M

a nice view of the underside.

1120

 

12576_male_Isère_10Jul08

 

32660_male_Nièvre_14Jun13

 

35143_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_1Jun14

 

35146_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_1Jun14

 

41960_male_Savoie_24Jul16

 

35141_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_1Jun14

 

12425_male_Isère_10Jul08