Two brown and cream butterflies joined and facing away from each other

Dingy Skippers mating. Photo: Christine Brown

Not as dingy as its name suggests: when it is fresh it is an attractive, if subtly coloured butterfly.

Where to see

Habitat: Open/rough ground, hillsides

Caterpillar foodplants: Birds-foot Trefoil

Best places: Cashmoor, Clubmens Down, Fontmell Down, Hod Hill, Melbury Down, Ballard Down, Durlston Country Park, Cerne Abbas, Portland Tout, Lankham Bottom, Southfield Hogcliffe

Distribution map

Explore the Atlas to see historical distribution trends for this species.

When to see

Peak month May, but may be seen either side of this month

Sightings by month (last 5 years)*:

Sightings this year*:

Browse the sightings archive.


Size: Small

Most likely to be confused with the Grizzled Skipper, this butterfly is more softly coloured. The Grizzled Skipper has more sharply defined markings, and distinctly chequered black and white fringes.

The female tends to be larger than the male and more strongly marked, especially regarding the series of white dots on the margin of the upper front wings.

Photo gallery

Tip: Click thumbnails to view full-size images.

*Note: The charts shown on this page are drawn only from casual sightings submitted to this website. Records from this website will be added to a lot more data collected throughout the year and used to compile the five-yearly Butterfly Atlases for Dorset and the UK.

Find more Dingy Skipper related content, including news and photos.