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East Midlands Branch Butterfly Conservation

Large Skipper Ochlodes venata


The Large Skipper is the most widespread orange skipper, and it needs tall, uncut long grass. It is found in rough grassy areas, roadside verges and woodland rides.


The Large Skipper is slightly larger than the Small Skipper or Essex Skipper, and appears brighter and more robust. It has a faint chequered pattern on both the underside and upperside of the wings, and the underside is a greenish-orange colour. The male has a conspicuous sex brand on the forewings.

Flight times

The Large Skipper appears in late May/early June and flies until the end of August.

Food plants

Eggs are laid on the underside of Cock's-foot, False Brome or Purple Moor-grass

Large Skipper - © Simon Jenkins Large Skipper

Distribution Maps for the East Midlands Region

Large Skipper distribution map 2010
2010 Summary
No of tetrads 169
First sighting 22/05/2010
Last sighting 15/08/2010
Large Skipper distribution map 2011
2011 Summary
No of tetrads 187
First sighting 01/05/2011
Last sighting 22/08/2011
Large Skipper distribution map 2012
2012 Summary
No of tetrads 144
First sighting 09/06/2012
Last sighting 01/09/2012
Large Skipper distribution map 2013
2013 Summary
No of tetrads 267
First sighting 19/05/2013
Last sighting 26/08/2013
Large Skipper distribution map 2014
2014 Summary
No of tetrads 141
First sighting 18/05/2014
Last sighting 29/11/2014
Large Skipper distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 410
First sighting 05/05/2015
Last sighting 31/08/2015
Large Skipper distribution map 2005-09

Combined records for the five year period 2005-09

Large Skipper distribution map 2010-14

Combined records for the five year period 2010-14


Photo Gallery

Large Skipper - Cotgrave Forest

Large Skipper - Cotgrave Forest © Mark Searl

Large Skipper - Fermyn Woods

Large Skipper - Fermyn Woods © Christine Maughan

Large Skipper - Fosse Meadow

Large Skipper - Fosse Meadow © Richard Jeffery

Large Skipper - Somerset

Large Skipper - Somerset © Christine Maughan

Large Skipper Large Skipper Large Skipper Large Skipper
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Similar or Easily Confused Species and ID Hints

Small Skipper Thymelicus silvestris & Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola

Both the Small Skipper and Essex Skipper can be confused with the Large Skipper. All three have similar overall 'orange' colouration and occupy similar grassland habitats.The Large Skipper is a stronger flier also has brighter undersides and more variegated markings on the upper wings.

Comparison of Small Skipper and Essex Skippers antennae
Comparison of Small Skipper and Essex Skipper antennae - © Mick Ball

Large Skipper Ochlodes venata abb.

Occasionally there appear lighter abberations of the Large Skipper, as seen in this example found by Ben Kenwood in Mansfield in 2015.

Aberrant Large Skipper
Large Skipper - Aberrant- © Ben Keywood
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