Large Skipper Ochlodes venata

Habitat

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.

Identification

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


Distribution Maps

2005-2009
Large Skipper distribution map 2005-09
2010-14
Large Skipper distribution map 2010-14
2015
Large Skipper distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 410
First sighting 05/05/2015
Last sighting 31/08/2015
2016
Large Skipper distribution map 2016
2016 Summary
No of tetrads 333
First sighting 16/05/2016
Last sighting 31/08/2016

Photo Gallery


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.

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.

Comparison of Small Skipper and Essex Skipper antennae
Comparison of Small Skipper and Essex Skipper antennae © Mick Ball
image of aberrant Large Skipper
Large Skipper - Aberrant- © Ben Keywood