Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto)

next page          back to list

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

36701_male_Bouches-du-Rhône_4Sep14

36686_female_Bouches-du-Rhône_4Sep14

42114_female_Bouches-du-Rhône_23Aug16

 
42025_male_Var_22Aug16

36661_female_Bouches-du-Rhône_4Sep14

 

This, like several others that occur in isolated regions of southern France, is principally an Iberian species which "leaks" into the extreme south of France, where it is highly localised. It also occurs in southern Italy and southern Greece. The upperside is superficially similar to Pyrgus grizzled skippers although it is not of the Pyrgus genus. The underside is quite different, the marking beings more diffuse than the clearly delineated marks of Pyrgus species, and having more in common with Carcharodus species. It is quite large, perhaps rather larger than the largest of the Pyrgus species.

 

It is generally a species of medium altitudes, with a range of 0-1000m. It is univoltine from June to October, although most common in late summer.

It is generally found in the vicinity of its larval hostplant, various species of the Phlomis genus, the purple-flowered P. herba-venti, the yellow-flowered P. lychnitis, or, in the PACA region, P. fruticosa (according to Lafranchis). In the two locations where proto has been seen in Var, P. herba-venti was common. However, in the one location I have seen proto in Var in the greatest numbers, it appeared to be in a region of P. fruticosa

The photographs on this page are from the end of the flight period where most of the 20 or so individuals were showing signs of wear, with only a few females still looking reasonably fresh. They were nectaring incessantly, so these photographs were snapped on the move.

This species was previously known as Syrichtus proto.

ref

sex

observations

alt. m

36701

M

a male, based on body shape, perhaps the least worn of those flying at this location.

640

36686

F

a female, still relatively fresh.

640

42114 F a female, snapped on a hot day when the numerous proto were hyperactive and constantly nectaring. 640
42025 M a male underside, which seems to be a rather pale rich chocolate brown colour with very little contrast with the lighter markings. 640

36661

F

a female egg-laying on what appears to be Phlomis fruticosa, based on the rounded end of the leaves (lychnitis and herba-venti appear to have more pointed leaves), although it is very difficult to say for certain.

640

 

36701_male_Bouches-du-Rhône_4Sep14

 

36686_female_Bouches-du-Rhône_4Sep14

 

42114_female_Bouches-du-Rhône_23Aug16

 

42025_male_Var_22Aug16

 

36661_female_Bouches-du-Rhône_4Sep14