home

Small Skipper Butterfly - Thymelicus sylvestris

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Lepidoptera - Family: Hesperiidae

Small Skipper Butterfly - Thymelicus sylvestris (male)

The Small Skipper is a butterfly of rough grassland, downland, woodland edges and clearings.

Distribution

In Britain this butterfly is widespread in southern and central England and throughout Wales, with its range steadily extending northwards.

Small Skipper with Marbled White

Above: This small Skipper has to share its thistle flower with a Marbled White and a beetle.

Elsewhere the Small Skipper is common throughout most of central and southern Europe and in the northern countries of Africa; its range extends eastwards across the Mediterranean and into the Middle East

Small Skipper Butterfly - Thymelicus sylvestris

Lifecycle

The larval foodplants are grasses and nearly always Yorkshire Fog, Holcus lanatus.

Small Skippers lays their eggs inside grass sheathes during July and August. The caterpillars emerge and then go into hibernation until winter is over.

In spring the caterpillars begin feeding on grass, and when fully developed in early June they pupate in the bases of grass tussocks, emerging later in June as winged adults.

Small Skipper butterfly, Slovenia

Small Skipper butterflies take nectar from many kinds of meadow wildflowers including the various knapweeds (Knautia spp) and many other thistles.

Studying butterflies and moths...

Small Skipper Butterfly - Thymelicus sylvestris

Acknowledgements

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Rob Petley-Jones and James Wainscoat.


Please Help Us: If you have found this information interesting and useful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.

Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rivers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from books by Pat and Sue.

© 1995 - 2022 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy