Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages)
Species

Male. Taken at Rodborough Common, Gloucs, on May 9th 2018.
(1/800th sec at f13. Approx 3.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female. Taken at Seven Barrows, Berks, on May 7th 2011.
(1/320th sec at f11. Approx 3.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Mating pair. Taken at Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks, on May 16th 2015.
(1/1000th sec at f11. Approx 3.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 27 - 34 mm

This is probably the most moth-like British butterfly. Its colours are usually quite muted except on newly-emerged individuals.

It is found over much of Britain but its distribution is rather patchy except in southern England. Like the Grizzled Skipper it has been in a slow decline owing to habitat loss.

This butterfly is found in warm open areas such as south-facing chalk and limestone downland, open hillsides, railway embankments, dunes, cliffs and abandoned quarries. It can also be found at the ends of woodland as well as in woodland clearings and rides.

The Dingy Skipper is on the wing in May and June. In favourable years there may be a partial second brood. It overwinters as a larva.

The primary larval foodplant is Bird's-foot Trefoil(Lotus corniculatus). Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus) and Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa) are also used.

Adults feed primarily on Bird's-foot Trefoil, Bugle, Buttercups, Hawkweeds, Ragged Robin and Vetches.

Dingy Skippers have a very rapid flight which is difficult to follow. They also spend time basking on the ground or on vegetation.

This species has Vulnerable status on the UK list.

Sightings

23-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
14-Jun-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
26-May-2018 : Lardon Chase, Berks (2)
26-May-2018 : The Holies, Berks (1)
20-May-2018 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (14+)
18-May-2018 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (1)
09-May-2018 : Rodborough Common, Glos (2)

14-Jun-2017 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs (1)
11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
07-Jun-2017 : Bjelopolje, Croatia
07-Jun-2017 : Gracac, Croatia
28-May-2017 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (5)
14-May-2017 : Rodborough Common, Glos (10+)
07-May-2017 : Lardon Chase, Berks (1)
07-May-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (6)

29-May-2016 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (15)
22-May-2016 : Lardon Chase, Berks (2)
08-May-2016 : Rodborough Common, Glos (4)
07-May-2016 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (4)

26-Jul-2015 : Bansko meadows, Bulgaria
25-Jul-2015 : Bezbog, Bulgaria
22-Jul-2015 : Kresna Gorge, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : nr Petrovo, Bulgaria
07-Jun-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (2)
30-May-2015 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
16-May-2015 : Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks (11)
16-May-2015 : Pitstone, Bucks (15)

01-Jun-2014 : Lardon Chase, Berks (1)
25-May-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
18-May-2014 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (14+)
18-May-2014 : Lardon Chase, Berks (2)
17-May-2014 : Stockbridge Down, Hants (1)