Small Skipper

Name: Small Skipper

Scientific name: Thymelicus sylvestris

Category: Minibeasts

Nature Stars: 30

What are nature stars?

About: A small orange butterfly, about 3 cm across. Adults fly between June and August, feeding on knapweeds and thistles. They can be found on rough grassland, woodland edges, sand dunes, along road verges and anywhere else with plenty of grasses. The foodplants for the caterpillar are several common grasses, including Yorkshire Fog and Cocksfoot.

How to identify: Smaller and plainer than Large Skipper. Told from the very similar Essex Skipper by having brown tips to the antennae, not black.

Where: England and Wales

Natural Superpowers

  • Predator: 10
  • Agility: 70
  • Rarity: 20
  • Cute factor: 60
  • Traveller: 50

Fantastic fact: Small Skipper caterpillars hatch in late summer, eat their own egg shell and then go into hibernation, only emerging again in the spring.

Photograph credit: Keith Warmington/

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