A male Grizzled Skipper at Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire. © 2018 - 2020 Steven Cheshire.
This charming small spring butterfly can be difficult to spot due to its ability to vanish during flight. It is an accomplished flyer, changing speed and direction in an instant.
The males tend to be found basking in the sun perched on a dead flowerhead in a sheltered hollow or South facing bank/ditch. They can be easily overlooked when at rest or roosting on flower heads.
The Grizzled Skipper is generally dark brown above, fringed with white and a loose checkerboard pattern of white spots which can be variable. As individuals age, the dark brown ground colour turns a duller bronze brown colour.
The Grizzled Skipper can be found in a variety of habitats including disused railway lines, woodland rides and waste ground. In order to breed, the Grizzled Skipper requires patches of bare ground, with an abundance of the larval foodplant and lots of spring flowers.
The larvae of the Grizzled Skipper feed on the leaves of Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans) and Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca).
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