Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
Spialia orbifer, female, Rudanovac, Croatia
© Peter Bruce-Jones
The genus Spialia
is closely allied to Pyrgus, and comprises of about 30 species. The majority are wholly
or partly Afrotropical in distribution but there are 3 species which occur in Europe.
The most widespread European species is
sertorius which is found across most of western Europe and North Africa. the other 2 species have ranges that overlap:
phlomidis is found in Greece, the Middle East and Russia; and orbifer is found in Sicily, Hungary,
Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia and the Urals.
At lower elevations this species inhabits hot dry flowery gorges and scrubland. At higher
elevations it is found in dry flowery meadows and woodland clearings. It occurs from sea level to 2000m.
The egg is laid singly on flowerbuds of the foodplant Sanguisorba (
Rosaceae ). When small it lives and feeds within the flower but when larger it constructs a shelter from a folded leaf and feeds on the foliage.
The adults have a very rapid and erratic flight, always close to the ground. They nectar at a
wide range of flowers.