Appearance, behaviour and distribution
With its characteristic chequered black and white pattern this butterfly is quite distinctive although old, faded individuals can be mistaken for the Dingy Skipper or the Sideridis rivularis, the Burnet Campion Moth.
Its main habitat in Britain is chalk downland but others used include scrubby grasslands, woodland clearings and disused artificial habitat. The butterfly occurs throughout southern and central England, and Wales, but has declined in several areas, especially in the non-chalk habitat.
Life cycle and food plants
Other plants used occasionally are barren strawberry (Potentilla sterilis), tormentil (Potentilla erecta), salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor), bramble (Rubus fruticosus), dog-rose (Rosa canina) and wood avens (Geum urbanum).
On hatching the caterpillars build shelters for use when they are not feeding. The larvae spin pupal cocoons and overwinter before emerging the following spring. The adult butterfly flies from the end of April until the middle of June.
- Asher, Jim; et al. (2001). The Millennium Atlas of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850565-5.
- Brereton, T. M.; Bourn, N. A. D., and Warren, M. S. (1998). Species action plan. Grizzled Skipper.
- Whalley, Paul (1981). The Mitchell Beazley Guide to Butterflies. London: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 0-85533-348-0.
- Pyrgus malvae at Caterpillar Hostplants Database