Pyrgus serratulae (Rambur, 1839)


Pyrgus serratulae: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male sucking on humid ground (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Gerstetten, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male at Ajuga geneviensis (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male at Ajuga geneviensis (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male on Vicia sepium (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male (Askio mountains, Northern Greece, late May 2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Male (Askio mountains, Northern Greece, late May 2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Adult (Schnalstal, South Tyrol, 2000m above sea level, late June 2011) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Adult (Schnalstal, South Tyrol, 2000m above sea level, late June 2011) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Adult (Askio mountains, Greece, May 2011) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Female (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: A bit worn female (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, June 2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Female [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Female [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Female (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Female (a bit worn, eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, June 2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Adult upper side (eastern Swabian Alb) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Adult lower side (eastern Swabian Alb) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Portrait (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, 26/05/2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Ovum (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Ovum (freshly laid, detail, Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Ovum (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Ovum (fresh) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Some days old egg [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Mature ovum, eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, June 2010 [M] Pyrgus serratulae: L1 [S] Pyrgus serratulae: L2 Pyrgus serratulae: L3-larva (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva in penultimate instar [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva in the hibernating instar L4  [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva after the hibernation, eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, April 2010 [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva in opened shelter (eastern Swabian Alb) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Germany) [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, April 2010) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Germany) [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Germany) [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva (Valais, Switzerland) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Larva in 2300m above sea level (Silvretta, Austrian Alps) at Potentilla aurea (shelter opened) [M] Pyrgus serratulae: Pupa (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb 2008) [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Pupa (eastern Swabian Alb, Germany) [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Pupa [S] Pyrgus serratulae: Oviposition place on the eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany: lower, sun exposed and dry edge of a Juniper with Potentilla [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Oviposition place, detail (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, June 2010) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Larval habitat on the eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Habitat on the Swabiann Alb, where also P. alveus occurs [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Habitat at the Umbrail-Pass (Switzerland/Italy) [N] Pyrgus serratulae: Oviposition place at Geum montanum [N]

Host plants:
The caterpillars feed on Potentilla verna (= tabernaemontani), Potentilla heptaphylla, P. recta and in the Alps also Potentilla aurea. Additional Potentilla species or closely related Rosaceae are quite possible.

On 07/07/2007 I observed oviposition on Potentilla aurea, Sibbaldia procumbens and both Geum montanum and Geum reptans at Umbrailpass (pass between Switzerland/Italy), where the species was very common. This allows to characterize the species as oligophagous on herbaceous Rosaceae.

Habitat:
In the Alps mostly south-facing, often rocky, nutrient-poor meadows and pastures are settled on limestone or silicate. In the lower mountains (e.g. Swabian Alb in Germany), Pyrgus serratulae is found almost exclusively in nutrient-poor and grazed calcareous grasslands, that are rich in lichens, mosses and open soil and often have rocky areas (but not always). In Greece, I observed butterflies and caterpillars on Potentilla recta in steppe habitats with Pyrgus sidae, Pyrgus armoricanus and Pyrgus cinarae.

Life cycle:
In lower altitudes the caterpillars overwinter quite homogeneously in penultimate instar and are already mature in the end of March and in April. The moths fly in May and early June, 2007 already on 30 April (eastern Swabian Alb, 600m above sea level). At 1500m above sea level flight time is usually in June and July. In the Alps above 2000m the butterflies fly until August and even early September. The caterpillars overwinter here as L2-L3, with possibly a at least partial twice hibernation in the highest altitudes.

Endangerment: strongly endangered

Endangerment factors:
In the Alps Pyrgus serratulae is still not endangered despite tourism and can be observed almost anywhere, in the low mountain ranges it is, however, in the long term threatened with extinction. On the Swabian Alb the populations gradually break down at the moment in many sites. Pyrgus serratulae has also already been pushed back to the highest and steepest slopes on some of the lower alpine border chains, e.g. the so-called Nagelfluhkette in Germany near Immenstadt due to increasingly intense agriculture with fertilization even on mountains.

Remarks:
This species is distributed from Spain to Mongolia. It misses in Scandinavia and on the islands. Still often particularly abundant are mountain populations (Pyrenees, Alps, Balkans).

Hints on determination:
Pyrgus serratulae can be recognized by the round white spot at the upper margin of the hind wing underside. Moreover, Pyrgus serratulae looks somewhat faint, pale and greyer than other Pyrgus. Especially in the Alps confusion is possible with Pyrgus cacaliae.

The accurate determination of most Pyrgus species is especially difficult for entomologists who are not specialized in this group or at least have some experience and should thus be based on genital dissection.



Pyrgus accretus | Pyrgus alveus | Pyrgus andromedae | Pyrgus armoricanus | Pyrgus bellieri | Pyrgus cacaliae | Pyrgus carlinae | Pyrgus carthami | Pyrgus cinarae | Pyrgus cirsii | Pyrgus malvae | Pyrgus malvoides | Pyrgus onopordi | Pyrgus sidae | Pyrgus warrenensis