Thymelicus sylvestris

Thymelicus sylvestris

profile iconSmall Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) (14301241527)
by Bernard DUPONT (CC BY-SA 2.0)
1 of 3
A photograph of a small skipper Thymelicus sylvestris on a flower
profile iconSmall Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) (14301241527)
by Bernard DUPONT (CC BY-SA 2.0)
1 of 3
The small skipper butterfly belongs to the skipper family, which is within a taxonomic order holding all the butterflies and moths! They're brightly coloured, boasting orange wings with a brown border. These insects are attracted to open habitats, such as meadows, unimproved grassland, downs, and road verges. They're expert flyers, expertly darting between the blades of long grasses when they're disturbed. This is a butterfly that has been restricted south but has been seen spreading north with rising temperatures in recent years.
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Traits

A beneficial insect that can contribute to pollinating wildflower plants.

Appearance

Emerged adult wings are vividly orange, surrounded by a black-brown and cream border. At rest, the species wings appear moth-like, a characteristic not seen in other butterfly families. Males possess a black streak on the forewing. The larvae, or caterpillars, are small and pale green with pale yellow heads. The body's covered in faint, tiny black speckles. Pupae, or cocoons, are spun using silk combined with the leaves of the larval foodplant. Initially, it begins light green but slowly fades to brown with age, looking like a malformed dead leaf. Eggs are laid in a row of 2-8. They're tiny, appearing white at first, fading to a pearly yellow with time.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Hesperiidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

A widespread butterfly present across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Biological treatment

Butterflies are considered important pollinators. Unfortunately, the larvae or caterpillars of various butterfly species can sometimes be pests during years where conditions are optimum for their breeding. If in high abundance, caterpillars may be picked off using gloves and moved someplace else.

Chemical treatment

It's not recommended to use pesticides on these butterflies.

Attracts this pest

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Knowledge and advice

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