Pygmy Skipper

Gegenes pumilio (Hoffmansegg, 1804)



A small dark brown, butterfly without white markings, with a short, chequered antenna, found resting on rocks. There are a series of pale-yellow marks on the underside of the wing. On the upperside, the female is paler, with a variable pale series of yellow marks. It could potentially be confused with Eyrnnis marloyi , which had two black bands on the forewing upperside. A more serious point of confusion is that between  G.pumilio and G. nostrodamus neither of which can really be distinguished from each other without either DNA analysis or examination of their genetailia.

Habitat Requirements

Dry flower rich habitats, with bare ground for thermoregulation.

Larval Foodplants

Greater Quaking Grass Briza maxima, Lesser Quaking Grass Briza minor, Annual Meadow Grass Poa annua, Bulbous Meadow Grass Poa bulbosa, Poa cephalonica, Poa compressa, Poa glauca, Poa infirma, Poa jubata, Poa maroccana, Poa perligularis, Poa timoleontis, Rough Meadow-grass Poa trivialis.


It is only during this species' second brood, in the autumn, when its abundance is so high as to make it recurrently encountered by the butterfly enthusiast. Then it can be commonly seen on the blooms of the Aromatic Inula Dittrichia vicosa. During this time it flies very fast and often sits on warm surfaces in full sun, to speed up its reactions and so avoid predation.

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

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 16/06/2023 13/10/2023 119 days
2022 27/05/2022 06/11/2022 163 days
2021 21/05/2021 25/10/2021 157 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 10
2022 27
2021 30
Grand Total 67

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Pygmy Skipper (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Pygmy Skipper (All Data)

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


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Pygmy Skipper
  • Family: Hesperiidae (Latreille, 1809)
  • Sub-family: Hesperiinae (Latreille, 1809 )
  • Tribe: Baorini (Doherty, 1866)
  • Genus: Gegenes (Hübner, 1819)
  • Species: pumilio (Hoffmansegg, 1804)


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