Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)


A small meadow butterfly with orange and dark brown upper-wings and buff under-wings. Active and fast flying the small skipper can quickly appear and disappear from view.

The Small Skipper is almost identical to the Essex skipper, and both species often share the same habitat.


Common across southern England and Wales.


Meadows and rough grassland with include grasses such as Yorkshre-fog and Meadow Foxtail.

Small Skipper Butterfly (Thymelicus sylvestris) wings closed

Small Skipper wings closed side view

Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)

Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)

Quick Info

  • Family Group: Hesperiidae.
  • When: July – August.
  • Size:Wingspan 27 – 34mm.
  • Larval Food Plant: Various Grasses inc Yorkshre-fog and Meadow Foxtail.
  • Adults nectar on: Ox-eye daisy, Birds-foot Trefoil (Lotus uliginosus), Thistles.
  • Population Status: Good spreading Northwards
  • Photographed: June 2011.
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