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UK butterflies status

Dingy skipper

Erynnis tages

As its name might suggest, this is one of the more inconspicuous of Britain's butterflies, its grey-brown wings with mottled brown markings making it much less bright to the eye than the grizzled skipper. Like its grizzled cousin it flies so fast that it can become a blur. At rest it folds its wings flat like a moth, the only British butterfly to do so.

Larval food plants: Bird's foot trefoil and horseshoe vetch. Hard hit by the effect of intensive farming on grassland.

Where seen: A wide range of habitats from downland to woodland rides and old railway lines.

Current conservation status: Dropping notably in numbers, although still more widespread than the grizzled skipper. Down 40 per cent since 1976.