Filming VarWild: Pyrgus sidae

Life cycle of butterflies in Provence

The yellow-banded skipper (Pyrgus sidae (Esper, 1784))

The Yellow Banded Skipper belongs to the family Hesperiidae : Pyrginae, is the largest member of the genus Pyrgus found in Europe with a wingspan varying from 32 to 38 mm. It is a sedentary butterfly, very localized and scarce in southern France, where it flies in a single generation between the end of April and the beginning of June.

Its life cycle begins on the upper parts of its host-plant and as a result, this butterfly lives mainly in sites with little or no grazing. The female deposits single eggs in the center of the flower or on the stipules of the leaves of her unique host -plant in the South of France, the Hairy-leaved Cinquefoil (Potentilla hirta).

Little is known about the courtship and the use of pheromones between males and females. The following paper gives some inside about this phenomena.

Hernández-Roldán J.L. et al. 2014 - Morphological and chemical analysis of male scent organs in the butterfly genus Pyrgus (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). Org Divers Evol 14: 269-278

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