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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

24 June, 2010

Large Skipper (Ochiodes venata)

As we move towards July so the Large Skipper starts to emerge. It is the most common of the skipper family and can be found on grassland and open spaces, especially on the edges of woodland where there is lots of shrubby vegetation.

The Latin name 'venata' gives a clue as how to identify this butterfly as it has a dark, almost black vein running across the fore wings. It is also rather patchy, an orange and brown pattern whereas the other common skipper, the Small Skipper has a much more consistent orange all over the wings with a dark border.

The male Large Skipper can be quite territorial, a bit like a dragonfly, settling on a prominent piece of vegetation in the middle of its patch and then swiftly launcing itself to deter intruders.

The food plant of the Large Skipper larvae is Cock's-foot and Slender False Brome, both common grasses.