Muschampia proto (Ochsenheimer, 1816) Sage Skipper, L'Hesperie de l'herbe-au-vent, Толстоголовка прото,
Distribution and biological peculiarities in Armenia: The species is distributed in Morocco, Algeria, the Iberian Peninsula, southern France, Italy, Sicily, Greece, Macedonia, and Transcaucasia. The subspecies that inhabits Armenia is under determination. The Sage Skipper was discovered in Armenia only in 2009, partly because the Armenian BMS was finishing in mid August, justified by traditional opinion that nothing new could fly in late summer and especially – late Autumn. As it often happens, the finding of the species was related to an occasion, when search for Cinquefoil Skipper accidentally resulted in catching of early male of Sage Skipper. Further investigations clarified the species’ peculiarities in some extent although the full picture is still requires additional research. It appears that the species has patchy distribution in calcareous grasslands at the elevation range between 1800 and 2200 m a.s.l., where the Phlomis pungens – the host plant of the species grows. The earliest butterflies were recorded in mid August, while most of them fly in late August to early September in a single generation.
Population dynamics: There are no calculations of population trends possible, taking rather late discovery of the species in the country.
Conservation measures: The National conservation status of the species is assessed as Data Deficient. The species has not been evaluated for the Global Red List but received a status of Least Concerned in European Red Book. Also it is not included in CITES and Bern Conventions. Among the first set of conservation measures it is suggested to implement a baseline study of its distribution, abundance and biological traits, with subsequent re-assessment of the conservation status.