Skipper Butterfly

Skippers are one of my favourite butterflies. Something jaunty about the way they hold their wings, reminds me of origami; all at different angles.

Skipper butterfly, Bradlaugh Fields, Northampton

This one looked very bright golden-orange flying about in the sun today, and basking in the grass next to the path. Apparently Small Skippers and Essex Skippers are very hard to tell apart, so anyone wishing to hazard a guess which one this is, you are welcome to comment below, although the fact that Small Skippers start to be on the wing towards the end of June, a couple of weeks before Essex Skippers, suggests that this may be the former species. In Northamptonshire you may find both Small and Essex skippers, as well as Large, Dingy and Grizzled Skippers.

The larval food-plant may be of a range of common grasses, the favourite of small skipper being said to be Yorkshire Fog, while that of the Essex, Cocksfoot.

UPDATE 22/06/15: Thank-you to the Northants Butterfly Recorder for identifying the butterfly in the photo as a Large Skipper.

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