Grizzled skipper

Pyrgus malvae
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The Independent Online

The skipper family are tiny, fast-flying, almost moth-like butterflies which "skip" from flower to flower. This speckled insect is typical: its acrobatics are so fast that its flight is almost impossible to follow. But when at rest it is an attractive butterfly, easy to identify, as it is darker than the other skippers - so dark it appears black and white.

Larval food plants: Wild strawberry is a principal food plant, although others are used, including tormentil and agrimony.

Where seen: Now mainly a species of wildflower meadows and chalk downland in southern England.

Current conservation status: Increasingly worrying, now quite rare. Down 43 per cent since 1976.