Butterflies of Europe
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
male, Rudanovac, Plitvička, Croatia
© Peter Bruce-Jones
There are about 50 known species in the genus
Pyrgus, which has representatives in North, Central and South
America, and in temperate Asia, as well as in Europe. The genus is
instantly recognisable from the pattern of squarish white spots on a
grizzled greyish ground colour, and by the prominent chequered
fringes to the wings. All Pyrgus males
have the basal half of the forewing costa folded back. Within the
fold are hundreds of specialised scales called androconia, from
which pheromones are disseminated to entice females into copulation.
Pyrgus carthami is distributed from Spain to Russia and
species is found in a wide variety of grassy habitats including hay
meadows, alpine pastures, scrubby hillsides and clearings in
deciduous or coniferous woodlands. It can be found at elevations
between about 500-2000m.
larval foodplants are various Potentilla
species ( Rosaceae ).
aggregate with other Pyrgus species at
the edges of puddles, ditches and shallow streams. Both sexes nectar
at a wide range of flowers.