The False Mallow Skipper, a southern European species, can be seen on the wing in spring, summer and early autumn. Separating this species from the almost identical Mallow Skipper Carcharodus alceae in the field is very difficult; fortunately, however, their geographical ranges do not overlap significantly.
The False Mallow Skipper has a wingspan of 28 to 32mm. The forewings is pinkish brown are patterned with brown oblongish markings on a pinkish background, while the hindwings are darker shades of brown or greyish-brown. The antennae have reddish-brown tips.
Not recorded in Britain or Ireland, this butterfly is common and widespread in north Africa and in the southwestern coastal strip of the Iberian Peninsula. The specimens pictured on this page were found in the Algarve region of southern Portugal.
The larval foodplants of the False Mallow Skipper are members of the plant family Malvaceae. These little butterflies are multivoltine and adults can be seen on the wing from April through to September..
This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Rob Petley-Jones.
If you found this information helpful, you would probably find the new 2017 edition of our bestselling book Matching the Hatch by Pat O'Reilly very useful. Order your copy here...