Grizzled Skipper

Pyrgus malvae (Linnaeus, 1758)



A small dark brown butterfly, with clear white marks on its wings. The white postdiscal spots on the forewing upperside in S4 and S5 are not contiguous with the spots in S6 to S8 (near the tip of the wing), which enables separation from the similar species in the genera Carcharodus and Muschampia. Also, the submarginal spots are normally present. On the underside of the hindwing, the ground colour is reddish-brown, and the white basal spot in S7 (font) is smaller than the other two, whereas in P. armoricanus they are the same size. Male and female are similar.

Habitat Requirements

In the UK this species occupies a range of different habitats, including: woodland glades, coastal dunes, grasslands and even brown-field sites. However, on closer examination the fine scale structure of the niche occupied by this butterfly is the same in each of these habitats. In the UK the Grizzled Skipper is a thermally restricted species and so the females oviposit in locations that aid the development of both the ova and the larva, by choosing areas where microtopography manipulates temperature at ground level.

In Corfu where the temperatures are much higher it is difficult to understand why this species is encountered so irregularly. Whilst Rubus maybe utilised as a host plant, this usually only takes place in the late instars, when the mouth parts of the larvae are large enough to cut through the tough foliage of the plant. 

Larval Foodplants

Agrimony Agrimonia eupatoria, Wild Strawberry Fragaria vesca, Salad Burnet Poterium sanguisorba.


Like most skippers this is a fast flying butterfly but because there have been so few observations of it in Corfu, accounts of it's behaviour there are yet to be written.

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

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 27/04/2023 08/06/2023 42 days
2022 09/04/2022 29/05/2022 50 days
2021 06/05/2021 02/06/2021 27 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 47
2022 39
2021 54
Grand Total 140

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Grizzled Skipper (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Grizzled Skipper (All Data)

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


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Grizzled Skipper
  • Family: Hesperiidae (Latreille, 1809)
  • Sub-family: Pyrginae (Burmeister, 1878)
  • Tribe: Pyrgini (Burmeister, 1878)
  • Genus: Pyrgus (Hübner, 1819)
  • Species: malvae (Linnaeus, 1758)


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