Hesperia comma (NL: Kommavlinder / EN: Silver-spotted Skipper, Common Branded Skipper, Holarctic Grass Skipper /DE: Komma-Dickkopffalter / FR: Le comma ou virgule) is a butterfly of the Hesperiidae family. Often confused with Ochlodes faunus (the Large Skipper), this species is easily distinguished by the numerous white spots on the underside hindwings. This butterfly is found on chalk grassland that contains short, sparse, turf. Often at high levels in the Alps, to over 2000m. This warmth-loving species is typically found on south facing slopes on which its sole foodplant, Festuca ovina, grows. Like most skippers, this is a fast-flying species that flies close to the ground, and can be difficult to follow when in flight. The male of this species is more-frequently encountered than the female. Both sexes spend the majority of their time either basking or feeding, and a wide variety of nectar sources is used. The butterfly will find the warmest patches of ground on which to bask, enjoying the warmth of paths, rabbit scrapes and other patches of bare earth which have been baked by the sun.
Image: Maloja (CH) - 18/07/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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