|Small Skipper Thylmelicus sylvestris|
|Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, England
July The Small Skipper is distributed throughout most of Europe. In the UK it is found only in England and Wales. They are usually in or near tall grassland and can be found in gardens.
The caterpillar feeds on the grass known as Yorkshire Fog of which I have a small patch in my garden in most years.
|The eggs are laid on the stems of Yorkshire Fog in July and August, the flight period of the butterfly. They hatch in August and spin a cocoon around them in which they spend the winter until emerging in April to feed on the tender new stems of the grass. By mid-June the caterpillar is fully grown and drops to the ground to form a chrysalis. After about a fortnight the butterfly emerges.|
|They are very similar to Essex Skipper T. lineola. The easiest way to distinguish them is that the Small
Skipper has orange on the underside of the tip of the antennae whereas the Essex Skipper has shiny black tips.
Photos 1 and 2 are of males showing the dark sex-brand line on the upper wing. This line is lacking on the females of photos 3 and 4.
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