Belongs to: skippers

Compare with: small skipper

Large skipper Ochlodes venata


Best time to see: mid Jun to mid Aug

Key facts

Largest of the skipper butterflies found in Essex

Habitat: any rough area where wild grasses grow unchecked, such as road verges and along the edges of woods

Widespread across the lowlands of England and Wales

Recognition

Wings brown around the edges with orange patches; long antennae, clubbed at the tips; wingspan 33–35mm

Male often perches with wings apart in wait for passing females

Fly only in sunshine, June to August, seeming to buzz and skip across the grasstops

Lifecycle

Pearl white eggs laid singly under leafblades of Cocksfoot or, sometimes, False Brome

Caterpillars are green and feed on grass, living in a tube formed by a leaf blade secured by silk ropes

Hibernates over winter in a sturdier tent of several leaf blades, turning into a chrysalis in May and finally emerging in June

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton