Two male Dingy Skipper butterflies basking in the late evening sunshine at Brandon marsh. © 2018 - 2021 Steven Cheshire.
The Dingy Skipper certainly lives up to its name, being dull brown, orange-brown or grey-brown in colour. However, on close inspection, a freshly emerged Dingy Skipper has wonderfully intricate markings.
In bad weather or periods lacking enough warmth and sunshine, the Dingy Skipper can be easily observed roosting with its wings wrapped around the flower head or stem upon which it rests, behaviour unlike most other butterfly species which rest with their wings closed above their backs and often hidden away from plain sight. Do not underestimate the ability for a roosting Dingy Skipper to go unseen as they are masters of camouflage.
The Dingy Skipper is a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) Species.
Find out more about LBAP species in our region.
If you would like to read the species action plan for the Dingy Skipper, please visit the Local Biodiversity Action Plan pages hosted by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
The Dingy Skipper is found across a variety of grassland habitats in Warwickshire, but its key localities are within brownfield sites such as the quarry complexes in the North Warwickshire area. It can also be found on waste ground and disused railway cuttings where its larval foodplant occurs.
Dingy Skipper larvae feed on a range of foodplants including Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus).
The Dingy Skipper is a widespread species but is almost completely absent in the county west of Warwick and the area centred on Pailton, bounded to the north by the M69 and to the south by the M6.
Its strongholds are in the north of the county around the various quarries and rough grasslands that occur along the Warwickshire ridge from north Coventry, through Nuneaton towards Mancetter and Tamworth. There are several colonies centered on Ryton Wood Meadows Butterfly Conservation Reserve south of Coventry and a large spread of colonies that occurs on the limestone grasslands running from just south of Rugby to Gaydon and the M40 corridor with outlying colonies on the Warwickshire/Gloucestershire border.