Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages)

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2021 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

29087_male_Var_4May12 33379_male_Hautes-Alpes_4Jul13 45890_male_Var_20Apr19
46951_male_Buckinghamshire, UK_18May20 47965_male_UK, Buckinghamshire_18May21 26315_female_Alpes-Maritimes_04Jul11
32463_female_Alpes-Maritimes_1Jun13 35231_female_Alpes-Maritimes_3Jun14 18983_male_Lot-et-Garonne_23Aug09
   
39220_male_Lot-et-Garonne_26Jul15    

A butterfly that lives up to its name when old and worn but can be quite nicely marked when fresh. It can easily be mistaken for a moth, and indeed many day-flying moths are more brightly marked and butterfly-like than tages.

 

As noted in the comment on 46951 below, UK specimens seem to vary little and merit the word "Dingy" in its name, whereas I have found that specimens from France, albeit from a wider geographical range and widely different terrain, can vary quite dramatically. Only 29087 of the French specimens could be taken for an English tages.

The sexes are not easy to tell apart, but size (the female is larger) is a good indicator and the female is more strongly marked especially with a series of upf white marginal dots.

 

It is usually encountered in singles, I find, but quite frequently, even at high altitudes.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
29087 M a male with very little contrast to the markings, so the Dingy description is for once quite applicable. 185
33379 M a nice dark fresh male. 2100
45890 M a male, rather drab colouring with little contrast. 220
46951 M

a fairly typical specimen from the UK, giving more credence to the "Dingy" in its name than most of the examples from France.

220
47965 M another example from the UK where there seems to be very limited variation and the specimens seems to be paler, browner (rather than grey), and with less contrast across the markings. 160
26315 F a very fresh dark female. 600
32463 F a rather worn female. 1085
35231 F a particularly drab pale grey female. 1080
18983 M

a male underside, quite a light brown, I feel, but the underside is so rarely seen so it is hard to say whether this is untypical.

80
39220 M a male in typical territorial pose. 100

 

29087_male_Var_4May12

 

33379_male_Hautes-Alpes_4Jul13

 

45890_male_Var_20Apr19

 

46951_male_Buckinghamshire, UK_18May20

 

47965_male_UK, Buckinghamshire_18May21

 

26315_female_Alpes-Maritimes_04Jul11

 

32463_female_Alpes-Maritimes_1Jun13

 

35231_female_Alpes-Maritimes_3Jun14

 

18983_male_Lot-et-Garonne_23Aug09

 

39220_male_Lot-et-Garonne_26Jul15