The Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) is a butterfly of the Hesperiidae family, which occurs throughout Europe. It was long known as Ochlodes venata, but this is a Far Eastern relative. There is still some dispute whether this species should be considered a distinct species or included in O. venata as a subspecies.
This butterfly’s range extends throughout Europe to northern Asia, China and Japan. In the British Isles it occurs in England, Wales, and south western Scotland. Although called ‘Large’ this is still a relatively small butterfly and not much larger than either the Small or Essex Skippers. The faint chequered pattern on both the upperside and underside help to distinguish the Large Skipper from these two orange Skippers. It can be found anywhere where wild grasses are allowed to grow tall. Hedgerows, woodland clearings and edges are favourites. An active little butterfly in sunny weather it is attracted to various flowers but has a distinct liking for Bramble flowers.
Featured in The Best of Anything & Everything on November 2/2011
Featured in Butterflies, Skippers, Moths & Winged Insects on October 31/2011
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