Header image - butterfly close up
Butterfly Conservation Logo
East Midlands Branch Butterfly Conservation

Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages


The Dingy Skipper is found in localised colonies in the East Midlands in grassland areas, disused railways, old quarries, reclaimed pit-tips, upland heath and woodland rides. It has suffered a decline in recent years due to 'improvement' of ancient grassland for agriculture or to lack of grazing on unimproved grassland. It is a conservation priority species.


It is unlike any other butterfly found in the British Isles, but it can be confused with other species found in the same habitats such as Grizzled Skipper and day-flying moths such as Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion.

Flight times

It is on the wing from late April until late June, occasionally with a second brood in August.

Food plants

Eggs are most commonly laid on Common Bird's-foot-trefoil, or Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil on heavier soils and Horseshoe Vetch on calcareous soils.

Dingy Skipper - © Simon Jenkins Dingy Skipper

Distribution Maps for the East Midlands Region

Dingy Skipper distribution map 2010
2010 Summary
No of tetrads 107
First sighting 23/04/2010
Last sighting 14/08/2010
Dingy Skipper distribution map 2011
2011 Summary
No of tetrads 79
First sighting 20/04/2011
Last sighting 15/08/2011
Dingy Skipper distribution map 2012
2012 Summary
No of tetrads 77
First sighting 29/04/2012
Last sighting 08/07/2012
Dingy Skipper distribution map 2013
2013 Summary
No of tetrads 129
First sighting 06/05/2013
Last sighting 01/08/2013
Dingy Skipper distribution map 2014
2014 Summary
No of tetrads 128
First sighting 17/04/2014
Last sighting 11/07/2014
Dingy Skipper distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 130
First sighting 24/04/2015
Last sighting 15/08/2015
Dingy Skipper distribution map 2005-09

Combined records for the five year period 2005-09

Dingy Skipper distribution map 2010-14

Combined records for the five year period 2010-14

Dingy Skipper distribution map comparison of 2005-09 & 2010-14

Comparison of years 2005-09 & 2010-14

Distribution has consolidated over this ten year period, but no significant advance has been made in the spatial coverage.


Photo Gallery

Dingy Skipper

Dingy Skipper © Simon Jenkins

Dingy Skipper

Dingy Skipper © Simon Jenkins

Dingy Skipper

Dingy Skipper © Christine Maughan

Dingy Skipper

Dingy Skipper © Christine Maughan

Dingy Skipper Dingy Skipper Dingy Skipper Dingy Skipper
Return to Top

Similar or Easily Confused Species and ID Hints

Burnet Companion Euclidia glyphica

The Burnet Companion is a small Noctuidae moth which flies during the day. It shares similar grassland habitats to the Dingy Skipper with the laval food plants including clovers and Common Bird's-foot-trefoil.

Although very similar in size and overall colouration the Burnet Companion often rests with the wings slightly open, revealing the bright orange of the rear wing.

Burnet Companion day flying moth
Burnet Companion - © Simon Jenkins

Mother Shipton Callistege mi

The Mother Shipton is another small day flying Noctuidae moth that share similar grassland habitats and laval food plants to the Burnet Companion and Dingy Skipper.

The striking wing markings resemble a caricature of the Yorkshire witch Old Mother Shipton. Its flight season is from May to June preferring sunny days.

Mother Shipton - day flying moth
Mother Shipton - © Simon Jenkins
Return to Top