Dingy Skipper - Erynnis tages


Scientific Name: Erynnis tages. The genus name comes from Erynnes, the Furies from Greek myth. The butterfly rarely sits still (as if being menaced by the Furies). The specific name is also from Greek myth. Tages is a boy who suddenly rose from the ground, just as the butterfly will do.

English Name: Dingy Skipper

French Name: Le Point-de-Hongrie. The name probably refers to a particular style of parquet floor, which resembles the pattern on the forewings.

5 Key Characters:
  • often encountered drinking at a patch of damp soil.
  • upperside of forewing crossed by irregular contrasting bands of grey and dark brown.
  • underside light brown.
  • a series of tiny white dots along the wing margins.
  • sits with wings open when at rest and looks like a moth.
Lookalikes: Mallow Skipper Carcharodus alceae, which has a more blotched, camouflage pattern of browns and no row of white dots.

Habitat: Unimproved grassland.

Flight Period: March-April-May-June-July-August-September.

Caterpillar: Small and green with a dark head. June - April, overwintering as a caterpillar.

Host Plant: A variety of legumes - Horseshoe Vetch Hippocrepis comosa, H. glauca, Crown Vetch Securigera varia (syn. Coronilla varia), Common Birdsfoot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus.

Status: A grassland indicator species that is in decline but still common. Data on designated grassland indicator species are collected to provide an indication of the health of natural grassland ecologies. This is a conspicuous butterfly in the Touraine Loire Valley and Brenne.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Photographs numbered from left to right and top to bottom. 1-5 drinking at a patch of damp soil along a ride in the Parc de Boussay, April. 6 resting on Gorse Ulex sp, May.



























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