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Butterflies of Europe
Safflower Skipper
Pyrgus carthami  HÜBNER, 1813
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
subtribe -
Pyrgus carthami, male, Rudanovac, Plitvička, Croatia © Peter Bruce-Jones
Introduction
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 central Asia.
Habitats
This 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.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants are various Potentilla species ( Rosaceae ).
Adult behaviour

Males aggregate with other Pyrgus species at the edges of puddles, ditches and shallow streams. Both sexes nectar at a wide range of flowers.

 

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