Monday, 30 June 2014


The small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) and the large skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) are two small orange butterflies which, despite their names, are more or less the same size.  Their underwings are held flat and their upperwings folded up as if they are made by origami.  We are at the northern limit of both their ranges.  Both are on the wing now.

The small skipper has plain orange wings as shown below.  The males of both species have a line of pheromone-releasing scales on the upperwing.

The large skipper is distinguished by the pale mottling on the under and upper surfaces of its wings.  This photo also shows the very long tongue.

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