Gegenes nostrodamus, Crete - photo © Ch. Almpantakis
Gegenes nostrodamus is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae on the island of Crete, Greece.
Gegenes nostrodamus (Fabricius, 1793)
Family: Hesperiidae > Subfamily: Hesperiinae > Tribus: Baorini > Genus: Gegenes
Male to female: 25-30 mm
It is a small, dark brown, base-smoky black butterfly with dense and long hairs protruding from the costa in the basal area of the hindwing.
The inner margin of the hindwing is paler than the ground color, and there are a few white dots on the forewing in the female.
The underside is pale brown, with some obscure white spots towards the tip of the forewing, and in the female at the hind-margin of the hindwing also.
It has a rapid flight, low to the ground.
Gegenes nostrodamus in Crete can be found at the seaside, in dry sunny slopes, rocky slopes, and dry stream beds.
The larva feeds on Poaceae plants.
The butterfly flies in 2 generations per year.
The butterfly can be easily confused with Gegenes pumilio (Pigmy Skipper), which also occurs in Crete. A useful tip to spot the difference is the presence of a dense or sparse cluster of hairs in the basal area of the hindwing of Gegenes nostrodamus (it is absent in Gegenes pumilio).
This feature is evident in young individuals but it is usually not immediately visible in old individuals.
Least Concern (LC)
(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)
Gegenes nostrodamus is locally threatened due to the extreme tourism-related destruction of coastal areas by overbuilding.
Gegenes Nostrodamus Distribution Map
*based on http://www.pamperis.gr/THE_BUTTERFLIES_OF_GREECE/MAPS.html