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UK butterflies status

Large skipper

Biggest of the eight species of skippers, small butterflies of grassland, which are fast-flying insects quite moth-like in their appearance. Faint spots or "windows" are visible on the wings, which help distinguish it from the similar small and Essex skippers. Generally a common butterfly, certainly in the south, they are getting scarcer the further north you go.

Larval foodplants: Grasses such as cock's foot, false brome and purple moor-grass

Where seen: Grassy meadows, woodland rides and clearings, urban parks with long grass

Current conservation status: Down 19 per cent since 1976, but this may be a factor of the past two very wet summers. Not thought to be threatened.