Small Skipper British butterflies

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This male and female Small Skipper butterfly were seen copulating on Bramble at Windmill Farm Nature Reserve, on the Lizard in Cornwall during the BioBlitz at the end of July.

From the underside both sexes look very similar but when seen with wings open the male Small Skipper can be identified from the female by the dark, slightly curved sex brands on its forewing which are absent in the female. This can be seen on the images on a previous post about Small Skippers at Windmill Farm.

Another common British skipper butterfly often found flying in similar habitat at the same time is the Large Skipper (Ochlodes faunus) and this can be identified from the Small Skipper not only by its slightly larger size but also by the dark shading bordering both the forewings and hindwings of both sexes and most easily distinguished from the underside by the light dappled patches as shown in the image above right.

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