Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma)
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2018 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
A rarity in the UK but not uncommon in France, where it seems to be far more common at altitude (even at around 2000m), and in fact I've rarely seen it at altitudes of less than 800m. It seems to emerge in August and is still going strong well into September, and numbers can sometimes be counted in hundreds. The underside spots are white, not silver, and can vary quite significantly. The sexes can be differentiated by the clear male upf sex brand, and that the male upf colouring is lighter and more orange than the female.
From the upperside alone, it could easily be confused with the Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) but the upf markings of comma are generally darker and better contrasted than sylvanus in both sexes. The comma male upf black sex brand is longer and wider (especially at the base) and is ridged at the top edge. From the underside, the markings of sylvanus are quite pale and poorly contrasted, whereas for comma they are white and well contrasted against the background and usually quite jagged.
a male, as indicated by the lighter colouring, the black upf sex-brand, and the body shape.
|26781||M||this male shows the narrowness of the forewings, with a rather concave costa.||2020|
a female, as indicated by the absence of the upf sex brand.
a female, quite dark and with the forewing costa being more concave than usual.
a rather pale but warm brown ground colour and yellowish light spots, resulting in little contrast, where the comma underside spots are often strongly contrasted.
a typically dark underside ground colour with rather white spots which contrast nicely. Compare to 18285.
a male, clearly I think, on the basis of body length.
I'm reasonably confident that this a female, based on the very fat body shape (but how fat are males?) and body length not extending beyond the wings.
possibly a female based on body length and shape.