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Northern Grizzled Skipper

Pyrgus centaureae

  • Family: Skippers and Darts – Hesperiidae
  • Subfamily: Spread-winged Skippers – Pyrginae
  • Wing span: Small, 25–32 mm (0.98–1.25 in.).
  • Wing upper side: Blackish brown, white blotches.
  • Wing underside: Olive green–greyish green, with white blotches and patches.
  • Habitat: Bogs and swamps, in the north also on lower slopes and river banks of fells.
  • Flying time: Early June–early July.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar (can overwinter two seasons).
  • Larval foodplant: Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus). Caterpillar is a monofag (specialised in one source of nutrition).
  • Endangerment: Near threatened.

The northern grizzled skipper can be found all over Finland apart from the very south of the country. It can be differentiated from the Alpine grizzled skipper by the white blotches on the edge of the upper side of its hind wing and from the grizzled skipper by the lack of white blotches in the margin in the upper side of its forewing. The white blotches on the underside of the northern grizzled skipper’s hind wings do not form a continuous strip.

The draining of marshes and bogs has seen the northern grizzled skipper disappear from the south of Finland. It flies so quickly around bogs between bushes and tussocks that it can be difficult to follow with the eye. Males defend their mating territories in hedges, where they wait for the females, who lay their eggs individually on the leaves of the host plant. Caterpillars are monofags, meaning that they have only one source of nutrition, in this case cloudberry.

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

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