Carterocephalus palaemon (Chequered/Arctic Skipper)

In2Home User user at
Sat Aug 14 16:21:51 EDT 1999

I am working on a project to re-introduce this little beasty to England
where we managed to send it into extinction in the mid 1970s. The donor
populations are in France and Belgium where we have found it in a wider
range of habitats/biotopes and on a wider range of larval foodplants than
expected. If anyone has direct experience of this butterfly it would be
great to hear from you. Questions top of the list at the moment are

What larval foodplants are they known to use (I have no info for North
America and eastern Europe/Asia)?
My searches for larvae in France have found them on 8 or so species.
Brachypodium sylvaticum was known as the favourite foodplant in England.

In which habitats/biotopes do you/have  you seen them most frequently?
English habitats were mainly damp woodlands cut for coppice (now largely
disappeared) but I have seen them in France on limestone grassland/scrub,
fen meadows, heathy (acidic) grasslands aswell as forest rides and glades,
particularly in young, regenerating woodland following felling.

Do they favour particular microlimates/vegetation structures?

Has anyone had much success captive breeding?

Does anyone have any old English records + habitat notes and the like?. I'm
trying to pull together as many old records for the butterfly as possible so
I can chart its decline accurately. There are specimens in Leeds museum
labelled Bude, Cornwall 1923, Kent 1902-1923 and there are others knocking
about from Devon, Norfolk and South Yorkshire aswell as the zillions
expected from Lincs, Leics, Notts, Northants, Cambs etc. All records welcome
but especially lesser known areas.

Any info (or even encouragement!) gratefully received. Information from
Europe and North America very welcome.

Thanks (and thanks to all who responded to my request for info on Callophrys
rubi - I'll be in touch)

John Moore
Bristol UK (Birmingham University)

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