Large Skipper

Ochlodes sylvanus


The Large Skipper is a small, orange butterfly, similar to the Small Skipper, but larger. Adults fly between June and August, when they can often be seen resting in sunny positions and long grass, or feeding on flowers such as Bramble. They can be found on rough grassland, woodland edges, sand dunes, along roadside verges, in large gardens, or anywhere else with plenty of grasses. The Large Skipper lays its eggs on grass blades. Foodplants of the caterpillars include Cock's-foot, Purple Moor-grass, False Broom and other grasses.

How to identify

The Large Skipper has russet-brown wings edged with large, dark brown patches and dotted with small, light orange patches. The male has a small black stripe in the middle of the forewing. It is larger, chunkier and darker brown than the similar Small Skipper.

Where to find it

Found in England, Wales and southern parts of Scotland


When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and woodland edge habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of butterflies, including the Large Skipper. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways grasslands are kept in good condition - supporting invertebrates and, in turn, the larger animals that prey on them. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Large Skipper
Latin name
Ochlodes sylvanus
Butterflies and moths
Wingspan: 3-3.5cm
Conservation status