15th July 2016

Today sees the launch of the 2016 Butterfly Count amid fears this year could mark the lowest numbers of butterflies since the count began. In our Sheffield garden and, down in Sussex now, numbers have certainly been down. The golden-brown Small Skipper, named for the speed and agility of its low flight through its favoured rough grassland (where the caterpillars feed), was about in small numbers today, feeding on thistles and Self Heal, and basking low in the grass, as they do. Small Skippers rest with their wings half-open, the forewing at an angle to the hindwing. Usually common in the south, their range is extending northwards. The male has a scent brand

Female Small Skipper

Female Small Skipper, basking, as they do,  with forewings at an angle to the hindwings.

Small Skippers feeding on Self Heal

Small Skippers feeding on Self Heal

 

, a thin dark line, on its forewing. Conditions: Breezy, dry and bright. Temperature: Max 20- Min 12C

Male Small Skipper, showing its dark scent brand (line on forewing)

Male Small Skipper, showing its dark scent brand (line on forewing)- feeding on Self Heal

Small Skipper

Small Skipper

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