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Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire - Branch Logo featuring the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.Butterfly Conservation.

Butterflies - Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola)

The Essex Skipper and Small Skipper are almost identical in appearance which often makes identification in the field extremely difficult, even for the experienced lepidopterist as they are often found living in the same habitats and on the wing at similar times.

The Essex Skipper has a distinctive glossy black tip to its antennae (including the underside of the antennae tip) while the Small Skipper has dull brown/orange tips.

The adult butterflies spend much of their time basking or resting on grass stems in typical 'golden skipper' style and can be seen from early June until late August although numbers have decreased dramatically by mid August.

  • Larval Food Plants
  • Habitat
  • Status
  • Key Sites
  • Links
  • Photographs

Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata)
May also use Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus).

The Essex Skipper is found in tall, dry grasslands in open sunny locations. It is commonly found on disused railways and roadside verges where the larval foodplant grows.

It is rarely recorded in large numbers, usually only one or two individuals may be seen. Confusion with the Small Skipper must be taken into account when recording this species.

Resident in Warwickshire.

May turn up anywhere in the region on grassland sites. Although it has a widespread distribution in our region, you are unlikely to see more than a couple of individuals.

Find out more about the Essex Skipper online at the following links;

Flight Chart
The flight chart below is based on observations of the adult Essex Skipper butterfly in Warwickshire between 2005 and 2008. Peak periods are shown in dark green.

Essex Skipper Flight Chart

Distribution Maps

Essex Skipper - 2011 records / distribution. Essex Skipper - 2010 records / distribution. Essex Skipper - 2000 to 2009 records / distribution.
2011 (1yr) 2010 (1yr) 2000-09 (10yr)

Essex SkipperEssex Skipper © Keith Warmington

Annual First Sightings
First sighting dates are based on records of Essex Skipper submitted online. Please note that these dates are not updated retrospectively to include records submitted to the branch recorder in other forms.

27/06/2018 Warwick

22/06/2017 Plantsbrook NR

03/07/2016 Crimscote Downs

10/07/2015 Fenny Compton

29/06/2014 Salford Priors

13/07/2013 A423 Ryton Lodge

10/07/2012 Hell Hole

04/07/2011 Oxhouse Farm

12/07/2010 Snitterfield Bushes Glider Club fie

02/07/2009 National Herb Centre

18/07/2008 National Herb Centre and College Fa

08/07/2007 Ryton Wood

Other Species

Please select an alternative species from the list below.