Cornwall butterflies: Small Skipper at Windmill Farm

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Lots of Small Skippers were flying amonst the long grass and feeding on the flowers of Bramble or Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.) and Common Knapweed at Windmill Farn Nature Reserve on The Lizard in Cornwall at the weekend.

Insight into Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris): a common butterfly found throughout southern England and Wales, it’s absent in Scotland although its range has extended northwards in recent years.

Despite its name there are four other Skipper species found in the UK that are of a similar size. The species closely resembles the Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) which has a black underside to the tip of its antennae in contrast to the orange of the Small Skipper.

The males (above right) can be identified from the females (above left) by the slightly curved dark sex brand in the forewing.

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