Tuesday 05 May 2009
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.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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