Mallow Skipper

Carcharodus alceae (Esper, 1780)



A small brown, fast flying butterfly with white marks on its forewing. The upperside of the hindwing is without white spots, and the margin is conspicuous crenulate and chequered, which enables it to be easily separated from similar species. Male and female are very similar.

Dan Danahar noted that most individuals have sickle shaped ends to their antennae.

Habitat Requirements

Found in a range of different habitats, usually flowery grassy places but also hot dry rocky places. 

Larval Foodplants

Marsh-mallow Althaea officinalis, Hibiscus Hibiscus trionum, Tree-Mallow Malva arborea, Dwarf Mallow Malva neglecta, Small Mallow Malva pusilla, Common Mallow Malva sylvestris.

Anne Sordinas has reared larvae collected from the wild on Malva spp.. Anne contacted Gillian Elsom for help with the identification of the host plant and Gillian believes that it was either M. pusilla or M. neglecta.


Usually found as singletons, with indications of territorial behaviour.

*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Mallow Skipper submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 01/03/2023 06/11/2023 250 days
2022 10/02/2022 17/11/2022 280 days
2021 03/03/2021 19/10/2021 230 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 271
2022 163
2021 103
Grand Total 537

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Mallow Skipper (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Mallow Skipper (All Data)

The chart below shows flight data by month since 1st January 2021


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Mallow Skipper
  • Family: Hesperiidae (Latreille, 1809)
  • Sub-family: Pyrginae (Burmeister, 1878)
  • Tribe: Carcharodini (Verity, 1940)
  • Genus: Carcharodus (Hübner, 1819)
  • Species: alceae (Esper, 1780)


For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.