Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus lavatherae)

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2019 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

5331_male_Var_14May07 24838_male_Var_17May11 24886_male_Var_17May11
29805_male_Var_10Jun12 41305_male_Isère_11Jul16 35490_male_Var_19Jun14
5868_female_Var_27May07 46358_male_Hautes-Pyrénées_10Jul19 25124_male_Var_24May11
   
34826_female_Var_24May14    

Lavatherae is quite light with extensive white marks on the uph, especially in the discal series, but also a series of slightly sagittate white submarginal marks. Lavatherae appears very light, almost white, in flight, in part due to the very pale and unmarked underside, a clear indicator of lavatherae.

Lavatherae is almost unmistakable from the upperside, but the definitive upf identifier is the two small semi-transparent patches in the post-discal region. I have found lavatherae to be widespread but not particularly common in Var and beyond in Provence, often encountered but nearly always in ones and twos.

ref

sex

observations

alt. m

5331

M

showing the extensive white uph markings.

185

24838

M

a male in a typical territorial pose, ready to see off intruders. This behaviour is typical of lavatherae males.

20

24886

M

the abdominal hair tuft is not as pronounced as other males, leading me to wonder if it might be a female.

20

35490 M a fresh, typical male. 780
29805 M a very fresh male.

220

41305 M a male taking salts. The ground colour is quite dark, producing a strong contrast with the white marks. 1120

5868

F

slightly paler and less strongly marked in the uph marginal region.

780

46358 M having said that I normally encounter lavatherae in ones and twos in Var, in July 2019 I was in the Hautes-Pyrénées where I counted some sixty or more males puddling in a short riverside stretch. The photo shows a concentrated gathering of fourteen. 1700

25124

M

a less common pose, with wings closed. This illustrates why lavatherae appears almost white in flight. It is a species that is easier to identify in the field.

185

34826 F not a great photograph, but a rare view of the female underside. It appears, from what little can be seen of the abdomen, to be in the process of egg-laying on the larval hostplant Stachys recta (Perennial Yellow Woundwort). 220

 

5331_male_Var_14May07

 

24838_male_Var_17May11

 

24886_male_Var_17May11

 

29805_male_Var_10Jun12

 

41305_male_Isère_11Jul16

 

35490_male_Var_19Jun14

 

5868_female_Var_27May07

 

46358_male_Hautes-Pyrénées_10Jul19

25124_male_Var_24May11

 

34826_female_Var_24May14