Marbled skipper - Carcharodus lavatherae

Marbled skipper

Family: Hesperiidae.

Flight Time: May - July.

Size: 28-34mm

Altitude: 200-1600m




During a trip to the Atlas mountains in Morocco I came across literally dozens of these little skippers all 'puddling' at the end of Lac d'Ifni. They pick up vital salts and minerals from the damp ground which I guess helps them deal with the extreme heat in this region.

There are some similarities to the Mallow skipper Carcharodus alceae. The Marbled skipper tends to be a lighter colour and have many more white markings on the upperside.

In addition there are five other species of the genus Carcharodus in Europe, some of which are very similar and also very variable. Distribution helps in this case, and is often the best guide for the amateur.


Fact File

Similar Species Foodplants Habitat Distribution

Carcharodus alceae

Stachys species Woundwort

Hot, dry, grassy areas.

Marbled skipper distribution


Early Stages




All pictures in these pages copyright to Simon Coombes. Permission must be sought and obtained for any use.