Lepidoptera The Small Skipper Butterfly – Hesperia Thaumas

In briefly describing the various British butterflies no mention has been made, except in a few cases, of the shape of the wings, this matter having been left to the reader’s own observations of our illustrations. We will, however, call attention to the somewhat square-cut form of the wings of Thaumas and the following species.

The above-named butterfly (Butterflies ImagePlate VII, fig. 13) is a lively-looking little insect, its wings being of a bright tawny orange colour, bordered with black, beyond which is a light fringe. The male, which is the sex figured, is distinguished from the female by an oblique black streak across the middle of the front wings. The under side is orange, with a decidedly greenish tinge.

The butterfly is out in July, and is very abundant and widely distributed. It lays its eggs on various grasses, particularly the meadow soft-grass (Holcus lanatus).

The caterpillar hybernates through the winter, and is full fed in the following June, when it changes to a green chrysalis after spinning a light silken cocoon among the blades of grass. The colour of the caterpillar is green, with six longitudinal white stripes-two on the back, and two on each side.