Large Skipper

Ochlodes venata

This is a beautiful golden coloured butterfly which I found resting on vegetation on a field margin near the river. Note how it adopts a characteristic resting posture with its forewings held at 45 degrees and its hindwings virtually flat. This is a male with a large dark sex-brand in the centre of the forewing. It is made up of pheromone producing scales.

The female tends to be a little darker with more pale markings. Wingspan 35mm. It maybe confuse with the Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma).

The caterpillar feeds on a range of broad-leaved grasses, but especially Cock’s-foot (Dactylis glomerata).

It flies May to September, and is found in numerous grassy places, including open hillsides, forest clearings, roadside verges and hedgerows. Common and resident.

Photographs taken June 2016, local field, Staffordshire.

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