The Dingy Skipper is a small butterfly and a fast flier, which can make it difficult to follow, especially as it flies close to the ground. The butterfly is grey-brown in colour but on a freshly emerged specimen an intricate wing pattern can be observed. This pattern fades over time and may explain its name. It likes to bask in the sun and can often be found on bare earth or a stone that has been warmed by the sun. The butterflies will nectar on Bird's-foot Trefoil, Horseshoe Vetch, Buttercup's and Hawkweeds. When resting, it wraps it wings around a flower head or stem in a moth-like pose.
The normal flight period is from mid-May until late June, but in early seasons it can be seen in Wiltshire from mid-April. In hot summers there is sometimes a partial second generation in August.
Larval Food plants
Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus)
Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa)
This butterfly prefers warm open areas such as south-facing chalk downland, railway embankments and abandoned quarries. It can also be found in a few woodland clearings and rides.
UK BAP Wiltshire BAP Declining
Local, frequent, seldom common
West Yatton Down
Pewsey Downs NNR
Boscombe Railway Cutting
Most grazed grasslands
Historical county record, 11th April 1893 (Marlborough College Nat. Hist. Soc.)
Modern county record, 14th April 2007
Latest county record 9th September 1999