Hungarian Skipper

Spialia orbifer (Hübner, [1823])



A small black, butterfly with white marks on its wings.  The key diagnostic features are on the upperside forewing. Four postdiscal white spots (S5-S8, near wing tip) are all in line, and there is space between postdiscal white spot in S2 and spot in S3. There is a complete set of small submarginal white spots. The wing fringes are chequered, and the hind wing margin rounded. Male and female are very similar. Can be confused with other similar marked skippers in the genera Muschampia and Pyrgus.

Dan Danahar noted that they have a white spot on the upper surface of their black tipped antennae.

Habitat Requirements

Early in the year, it can frequently be found in spring meadows, later on in the year it can be encountered on rough open ground, in hot places and frequently rests on hot rocks and pebbles in full sunshine.

Larval Foodplants

Salad Burnet Poterium sanguisorba, Great Burnet Sanguisorbia officinalis, Cinquefoil Potentilla and Red Raspberry Rubus idaeus.

Dan Danahar has observed oviposition on P. sanguisorba (see the photograph of this event, above). Anne Sordinas has reared larvae on this host plant.


A fast and low flying species, which can be locally abundant when encountered in ideal habitat. Males in particular demonstrate territorial behaviour.

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

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 26/04/2023 03/10/2023 160 days
2022 02/05/2022 28/07/2022 87 days
2021 10/05/2021 28/07/2021 79 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 36
2022 22
2021 55
Grand Total 113

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Hungarian Skipper (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Hungarian Skipper (All Data)

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


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Hungarian Skipper
  • Family: Hesperiidae (Latreille, 1809)
  • Sub-family: Pyrginae (Burmeister, 1878)
  • Tribe: Carcharodini (Verity, 1940)
  • Genus: Spialia (Swinhoe, 1912)
  • Species: orbifer (Hübner, [1823])


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