Gegenes pumilio - photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Gegenes pumilio, Crete - photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Gegenes pumilio


Gegenes pumilio is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Gegenes pumilio (Hoffmannsegg, 1804)

Common name

Pigmy Skipper


Family: Hesperiidae > Subfamily: Hesperiinae > Tribus: Baorini > Genus: Gegenes


Male to female: 20-30 mm


It is a small, base-smoky black butterfly without white markings. There are a series of pale-white spots on the underside of the wing. On the upper side of the forewing, the female is paler, with an additional pale series of white spots.


The butterfly has a rapid flight, low to the ground.


Gegenes pumilio in Crete lives mostly in hot, coastal slopes, rocky areas and very extensive olive groves, rocky slopes, river and lake banks, rocky ravines, sunny mountainsides.

Food plant

The larvae feed mainly on Poaceae plants.

Flight Period

The butterfly flies at least in 2 generations per year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

The butterfly can be easily confused with Gegenes Nostrodamus (Mediterannean Skipper), which also occurs in Crete. A useful tip to spot the difference is the absence of a dense or sparse cluster of hairs in the basal area of ​​the hindwing of Gegenes pumilio (it is present in Gegenes nostrodamus).

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 pumilio is locally threatened due to the extreme tourism-related destruction of coastal areas by overbuilding.

Gegenes Pumilio Distribution Map

*based on

Gegenes pumilio location map based on greek butterflies distributions map by L.N. Pamperis (revised 2021)