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Pyrgus carthami

(Hübner, [1813])

  • Subfamily: Pyrginae
  • Wingspan: 26-36 mm
  • Flight period: Jun - Aug
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Potentilla reptans, Potentilla, Malva ...


The Pyrgus carthami also known as Safflower Skipper is a medium-sized moth with a wingspan of 26-36 mm, and it is relatively easy to distinguish from its cousins Pyrgus ​​in that it is significantly larger, and has broad, rounded wings.
Distributed in most of Europe, with the exception of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Scandinavian Peninsula of Denmark, Belarus and the Baltic countries *. Present in the Alps, the Po Valley and central-southern Apennines. of the plain up to about 2000 meters, it is absent from the Islands.

The male has dark brown wings with greyish basal hair and well developed white spaces. The hind wings are dark brown with variable light areas. The female is similar to the male but without the basal hair and without the rib fold in the front wings. The reverse of the wings, in both sexes, is yellowish gray with complete white spaces and dark outlines.**

It overwinters in the larva stage and as mentioned the sexual dimorphism is not very evident.

Monovoltine, the adult flicker occurs from late June to August, and can be found in grasslands and clearings. The eggs are laid singly on the leaves of the host plants. When born, the larvae have a solitary life and pupate in free cocoons, placed on the ground at the base of the host plant.

Nurse plants: Potentilla reptans, Potentilla, Malva, Althaea, Centaurea.

* Lepidoptera mundi - European Fauna
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten -

Pyrgus carthami
Pyrgus carthami