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

Distribution Maps

Large Skipper distribution map 2005-09
Large Skipper distribution map 2010-14
Large Skipper distribution map 2015-19
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 2016
2016 Summary
No of tetrads 333
First sighting 16/05/2016
Last sighting 31/08/2016
Large Skipper distribution map 2017
2017 Summary
No of tetrads 392
First sighting 01/05/2017
Last sighting 18/09/2017
Large Skipper distribution map 2018
2018 Summary
No of tetrads 327
First sighting 15/05/2018
Last sighting 09/09/2018
Large Skipper distribution map 2019
2019 Summary
No of tetrads 328
First sighting 23/05/2019
Last sighting 21/08/2019
Large Skipper distribution map 2020
2020 Summary
No of tetrads 325
First sighting 20/05/2020
Last sighting 23/08/2020
Large Skipper distribution map 2021
2021 Summary
No of tetrads 296
First sighting 29/05/2021
Last sighting 07/09/2021
Large Skipper distribution map 2022
2022 Summary
No of tetrads 242
First sighting 17/05/2022
Last sighting 17/09/2022

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