ADULT: Wingspan 29 – 33mm. A characteristic butterfly with a moth-like appearance due to its sombre but striking markings. The wings are a chequered pattern of deep brown and cream and are slightly angular in males but more rounded in females. The body is furry. There is an abberration within this species, ab. Taras, that has all of the white spots on the forewings joined, forming a large white blotch. CHRYSALIS: Found in a loose cocoon at the base of the vegetation, often among stems of the foodplant. It overwinters in this stage and lasts for around 9 months. LARVA: Reaching up to a length of 20mm with a black granular head and greenish body that is finely hairy with whitish specklings. On maturity the The first pair of legs are black, the second pair brown and the third pair pale ochreous; the claspers ochreous-green. The larvae feed on the upper cuticle of the leaves. Larval foodplants include Agrimony, Tormentil, Creeping Cinquefoil and Wild Strawberry amongst others. EGG: The egg is dome-shaped, finely reticulated and and measures up to 0.50 mm. high. The micropyle is slightly sunken. The eggs are laid singly on the chosen foodplant. BEHAVIOUR: Grizzled skippers are quite active during the day and tend to favour blue or violet-coloured plants for food. Communication between individuals is complex, they use vibrations to interact with ants and chemical secretions are involved during the mating process. Males are highly territorial. HABITAT: Chalk downland, woodland edges, woodland clearings, large woodland rides, unimproved grassland and occasionally heathland. FLIGHT PERIOD: May to June.
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