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Lulworth Skipper. Thymelicus acteon (Rottemburg, 1775)

Diputación de Málaga

Lulworth Skipper. Thymelicus acteon (Rottemburg, 1775)

Wingspan: From 2 to 2.8 cm.

Routes where it can be observed

Code

Open wings: Both of the wings are brown. The forewings have a series of golden spots which form an arch, and are much more obvious in the case of female than male butterflies. The latter have wings which are actually golden colour not brown and have a black line over them (androconia).

Closed wings: The hindwings are orangey.

Similar species

Small Skipper: This species can be confused with the above one only when its wings are closed as the clubs on their antennae are black.

Essex Skipper: It can be confused with Lulworth Skipper only when its wings are closed because the hindwings are straw-coloured.

Silver-spotted Skipper: It is bigger and tougher. It can be confused with Lulworth Skipper only when its wings are open because there are fewer spots on them, which do not make an arch.

Large Skipper: It is bigger and tougher. It can be confused with Lulworth Skipper only when its wings are open because there are fewer spots on them, which do not make an arch. Moreover, the black line (androconia) is larger, and not as brown as the one of the Lulworth Skipper in the case of both, male and female butterflies.

Biology and Habitat

This species takes only one generation a year to fly from April to August, and most commonly in May and June. They live in all kinds of habitats with grass, from meadows, sparse forests and well-preserved scrubland in the mountains, to the places which were adapted by people close to the coast, such as abandoned quarries, road ditches, uncultivated land, borders of the farmland, and dry river and stream beds. Their caterpillars feed on grasses that belong to different genera.

Distribution in the Great Path

The Lulworth Skipper is the most common of its genus in the Province of Málaga. It can be found on every stage of the GMP, although in limited number of places. There are fewer butterflies that belong to this species on the stages that go along the coast and through the northern part of the province because the landscape there is rather urban or it consists of farmland. In these places, the species can be seen close to the streams and at spots with local plant life.