Muschampia alta

English name:
Sage Skipper
Full scientific name:
Muschampia alta (Schwingenschuss, 1942)
Croatian name:
Pelinov debeloglavac

Red Book Category in EU: NE

Red Book Category in Croatia: NE

Wings span: 28-30mm

Distribution of Sage Skipper in Croatia
Distribution of Muschampia alta in Croatia

In research study, Hinojosa et al., 2020 concluded that species Muschampia proto comprises 2 more species: M. alta and M. proteides. Before the study, on Croatian check list was M. proto only. M. alta locality is Balkan peninsula and southern Italian Peninsula. M. proto locality is Iberian Peninsula so it is no longer on Croatian species list. M. proteides locality is Turkey and the islands of Eastern Greece. I left English name ‘Sage Skipper’ from M. proto because I did not find a new name for M. alta in the literature.

Flight Period

Flight period of Sage Skipper in Croatia
Flight period of Muschampia alta in Croatia

External Morphology Characteristics

The upper side of wings is dark olive in color. In S1 zone of the forewing there are two short white markings. The underside of wings is light brown. On the underside of hindwings, in S1 & S2 zones, white markings are almost invisible.

Distribution in Croatia

The far south. Check above map.


Imago feeds with the nectar of various flowers. Males are territorial.

Caterpillar Host Plants

Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa).


It prefers dry grasslands with Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa). Elevations: 0-500m.


Hinojosa et al., 2020: Overlooked cryptic diversity in Muschampia
(Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) adds two species to the European butterfly fauna
Koren et al., 2020: The distribution and status of Sage Skipper Muschampia proto (Ochsenheimer, 1808) (Lepidoptera, Hesperiidae) at the limit of its range in the north-western Balkans
Pamperis, 9-Dec-2022, web: Χαρακτηριστικές λεπτομέρειες των ειδών Muschampia tessellum, Favria cribrellum, Muschampia alta and Muschampia proteides

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