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Chequered Skipper

Carterocephalus palaemon

  • Family: Skippers and Darts – Hesperiidae
  • Subfamily: Skipperlings – Heteropterinae
  • Wing span: Small, 23–30 mm (0.9–1.17 in.).
  • Wing upper side: Base colour dark brown, with yellow blotches.
  • Wing underside: Hind wing brownish black, with yellow–white blotches. Forewing with yellow and brown blotches.
  • Habitat: Abundantly-flowered damp landscapes where grasses grow. Especially meadows beside rivers and streams.
  • Flying time: Mid-June–mid-July.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar.
  • Larval foodplant: Different kinds of grasses (Poaceae).
  • Endangerment: Near threatened.

Hesperioidea is a superfamily of butterflies in the same way as Papilionoidea, and in this web site they are dealt with within their own Hesperiidae Family (Skippers and darts). The superfamily is home to around 4,000 species, of which 9 can be found in Finland. The Skippers and darts family is sub-divided into three subfamilies: Spread-winged skippers, Skipperlings and Grass skippers. There are 3 Skipperling (Heteropterinae) species in Finland, of which one, the large chequered skipper, has been found only once, in 1937.

The chequered skipper can be found rarely in southern and especially eastern Finland, and it bears a great resemblance to the northern chequered skipper. They can be differentiated, however, by the fact that the northern chequered skipped has yellow blotches along the leading edge of the upper side of the hind wing which are lacking on the chequered skipper (although it has many yellow blotches on the upper side of the hind wing). Additionally, the upper side of the forewing of male northern chequered skipper is more (uniformly) yellow.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same subfamily

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