Orbed Red-underwing Skipper
Full scientific name:
Spialia orbifer (Hübner, 1823)
Flight Period and Life Cycle
2 broods per year. Overwinters as caterpillar.
Distribution in Croatia
More common in the coastal area. Missing on the north. Check the included map.
External Morphology Characteristics
The butterfly is very similar to Spialia sertorius species. The area of two species overlaps in Croatia.
(1) There is a series of small spots in the submarginal area,
(2) Typically the first four white spots are emphasized, rarely there are only 3 spots,
(3) There is a typically 1 spot, rarely 2 or even missing both,
(4) There is a rounded shape of the discal white marking. In Spialia sertorius, it has a significantly irregular shape (Gergely Péter, 2021). The research study (Hinojosa et al, 2022) shows that hybrids of Spialia sertorius and Spialia orbifer probably occurred in Italy. In the field I found many specimens have irregular shape of discal white marking even on the south of Croatia. It seems there are many hybrids of both species even on the south.
Imago feeds with nectar of various flowers. It often rests on the ground.
Caterpillar Host Plants
The family Rosaceae.
Dry and sunny terrain. Elevations: 0-1400m.
Gergely Péter, 2021: Differentiation of Spialia orbifer (Hübner 1823) and S. sertorius (Hoffmannsegg, 1804) in the field (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae), Pannon Institute,
Hinojosa et al., 2022: Hybridization fuelled diversification in Spialia butterflies, Molecullar Ecology.