Charles found this little Lulworth Skipper on Bindon Hill in June.
He has managed to capture the diagnostic paw print or some say sun-ray pattern on the fore-wings which makes for an interesting photo.
This is a female and is quite recognisable from the pale orange crescent on her forewings, which is either lacking or very feint in the male. The male is darker in colour, and has a sex brand on each forewing made up of a very fine line of scent scales.
There is one generation each year with an extremely protracted flight period that extends from the end of May through to early September and is very site-dependent.
This was Andy’s first sighting of a Lulworth Skipper this year, and he found nine of them on the Ulwell to Ballard Down track on 2/6/18.
This species is only found in the south of England, it’s distribution is centred around Lulworth in Dorset, between Weymouth and the Isle of Purbeck. It can be found flying from the end of May to early September in grassy ,flowery habitats usually among scrub.
This is a species that has responded dramatically to climate change with many books showing flight times which no longer apply.
Brian came across these Lulworth Skippers on 27/08/2017 at Durlston East whilst doing his transect walk.
As he says they are very faded and he didn’t expect to find any this late in their season, though they are not very predictable these days: see our “Unpredictable Lulworth Skipper” article) He tells us that the top photograph is of a Male and the one above is a female. The yellow paw print markings on the upper fore-wings are usually more prominent on the females of this species.
Despite its name, Lulworth Skipper, this butterfly is found throughout most of Europe, but is restricted to the Dorset coast in the UK.
Both of these shots were taken at Seacombe Bottom, near Langton Matravers in Purbeck. For a video of the caterpillars in action go to our News page
The Lulworth Skipper is only found in Dorset, and it should be on the wing before long. Last year it appeared on 27 May, and the year before that 21 May. See our Species page for more information. A good place to see it is Durlston Country Park.