Small orangey-brown butterfly on a dandelion-like flower

Lulworth Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

The Lulworth Skipper is one of our smallest butterflies. It is restricted to the extreme south of Dorset where it can be found in large numbers along a stretch of coast centred on the village of Lulworth, where the species was first discovered in 1832.

Where to see

Habitat: South-facing Purbeck hillsides

Foodplants: Tor Grass

Best places: Durlston Country Park, Bindon Hill

Reported from the following Dorset locations last year:

When to see

In theory, July to Mid September, with a peak in August - this used to be the norm. However, weather changes over the last few years have stretched the flight period in some years from the last week in April to early September.

Dorset sightings by month (last 3 years):


Size is a key point in identification – Lulworth Skippers are smaller than Large Skippers and slightly smaller than Small Skippers, not that this helps much if you are not seeing them together!

Lulworth Skippers which are fresh have a light dusting of golden marks in the centre of the forewing, which in the female is a distinctive circle.

Lulworths do not have the much paler yellow dots around the edges of the forewings which are key ID features for Large Skipper.

Old Lulworth Skippers go a rather greenish olive-brown, which distinguishes them from the other Skippers. Lulworths also hold their wings characteristically with the hindwings at a lower angle.

Photo gallery

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