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

Butterflies - Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)

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

One key difference between the Small Skipper and Essex Skipper is that the Small Skipper has dull brown/orange tips while the Essex Skipper has a distinctive glossy black tips to its antennae. Small Skippers are also slightly more orange in appearance.

The adult butterflies spend much of their time basking or resting on grass stems in typical 'golden skipper' style.

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

Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus)
Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata)
False Broom (Brachypodium)

Colonies of the Small Skipper can be found where grasses are allowed to grow tall and lush. Habitats include disused railway lines, unimproved rough grassland and verges. Colonies can occur on very small patches of suitable habitat such as a roadside and railway verges.

Resident in Warwickshire.

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

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

Small Skipper Flight Chart

Distribution Maps

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

Small SkipperSmall Skipper © Steven Cheshire

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

15/06/2018 Brook Meadow

14/06/2017 Mancetter

24/06/2016 Studley Common NR

15/06/2015 Draycote Meadows

07/06/2014 Notcutts, Monkspath

16/07/2013 Abbey Park, Stareton

19/06/2012 Binley, Coventry

04/06/2011 (Private Site)

24/06/2010 Ufton Fields

15/06/2009 Lea Marston Lake Old Quarry Site

15/06/2008 Focus Optics Corley

19/06/2007 Focus Optics Corley

Other Species

Please select an alternative species from the list below.