Lepidoptera The Large Skipper Butterfly – Hesperia Sylvanus

During May, June, and August this butterfly may be seen on grassy banks in nearly every part of England, as well as in certain localities of Scotland and Ireland.

The wings are all of a bright orange-brown colour, with a narrow black border, inside which is a broad shading of brown. The latter colour usually completely covers the hind wings with the exception of about half a dozen squarish spots; and the same colour, together with the dark brown wing rays, breaks up the light ground of the fore wings, often forming several squarish and triangular patches, most distinct near the tips. The male (Butterflies ImagePlate VII, fig. 15) may be readily distinguished from the female by the presence of a thick dark brown streak across the fore wings.

The under side of both sexes is pale tawny brown, with a greenish tinge; and has several rather indistinct yellowish spots.

The larva is of a dull green colour, with a dark line on the back. Its upper surface is dotted with black, and there are white spots on the under side of the tenth and eleventh segments. It feeds on several kinds of grasses, some of its favourites being the meadow soft grass (Holcus lanatus), the cock’s-foot (Dactylis glomerata), and couch grass (Agropyron repens).