Tag Archives: Lulworth Skipper

Meadow Brown and Lulworth Skipper both nectaring on a thistle

Meadow Brown and Lulworth Skipper. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona spotted this Meadow Brown and Lulworth Skipper at Ballard Down on 22/06/19 and noted her photograph of them both nectaring on the same flower was a good way of seeing the size difference.

Female Common Blue on grass stems showing upper wings

Common Blue. Photo: Harold Gillen

a golden brown butterfly on grass stems showing the paw print features on upper forewings

Lulworth Skipper. Photo: Harold Gillen 

Harold tells us.

I helped out on the Lulworth Walk yesterday, 5/06/19 and saw plenty of Lulworth Skippers and a lovely female Common Blue.

Saw 12 species in all including my first Large Skipper and Meadow Brown of the season.

Well done Harold sounds like a very successful event.

view of a Lulworth Skipper on a grass showing the paw print on its fore-wing

Lulworth Skipper.Photo: Charles Thompson

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.

view of a Lulworth Skipper with wings partially open showing the upper fore-wings

Lulworth Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

view of a Lulworth Skipper taken from the rear and clearly showing the sun ray pattern on the fore-wings

Lulworth Skipper. photo: Mark Pike

Unbelievably these Skipper photos were taken in Corfe Castle car park on 2/06/18 by Mark Pike.

Who would imagine finding this species there, Mark says he even saw some settling on cars!

The above photograph shows the diagnostic sunray pattern of a Lulworth Skipper very well, not something usually captured.

Well done Mark!


view of Lulworth Skipper on grass flower

Lulworth Skipper. photo: Andy Martin

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.

view of a very faded Male Lulworth Skipper resting on a grass seed head

Lulworth Skipper. Photo: Brian Arnold

view of a very faded female Lulworth Skipper on a grass seed head

Lulworth Skipper. Photo: Brian Arnold

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.

Lulworth Skipper caterpillars at Seacombe Bottom

Close up of a green caterpillar stretched out along the top of a blade of grass

Luworth skipper larva. Photo: Dom Greves

Small green caterpillar lying along the length of a blade of grass, pulling its edges together with silk it has spun

Luworth skipper larva. Photo: Dom Greves

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.