Photograph of an Essex Skipper
Click to enlarge
Canvey Island
9 July 2012
Photograph of an Essex Skipper
Click to enlarge
Magog Down
15 July 2011
Photograph of an Essex Skipper
Click to enlarge
Magog Down
17 July 2012
Photograph of an Essex Skipper
Click to enlarge
Great Yeldham
Male. 21 July 2012
Photograph of an Essex Skipper
Click to enlarge
Great Yeldham
Female. 2 Aug 2012
Photograph of an Essex Skipper
Click to enlarge
Canvey Island
16 Aug 2012

The Essex Skipper, Thymelicus lineola

The Essex Skipper is very similar to the Small Skipper. Those with solid black tips to the antennae are Essex Skippers, those with small oval orange to dark brown areas under the tips of the antennae are Small Skippers. It is not always very easy to see that a Small Skipper with mostly dark brown to black antenna tip patches is not an Essex Skipper.
The tip of the antenna of the Essex Skipper is more rounded and club shaped, in the Small Skipper it is more curved and slightly pointed.

The male wing stripe is generally broader and more diagonal on the Small Skipper, though the degree of difference in published illustrations is not always very distinct. The black wing borders are often more clearly defined in the Small Skipper, in the Essex Skipper they tend to blend in more gradually.

The tips of the undersides of the fore wings are tinted orange in the male Essex Skipper, and gray-buff in the female Essex Skipper and the Small Skipper.

There is only one brood per year. The principal food plant given is Cocksfoot, though other grasses are mentioned. Essex Skippers overwinter as eggs layed in the flowering stems of the grasses - so it is important not to cut long grass where it can be avoided. The eggs hatch in spring to become larvae feeding on the same grasses for a few weeks, before pupating and then emerging as adults in mid summer. Most are seen on the wing in July.

Internal links: Home . Butterfly list . Main Gallery . Canvey Island . Magog Down

External links: British Butterflies by Steven Cheshire . UK Butterflies by Peter Eeles
Search menu at Cockayne database for forms and aberrations

Adults in flight: MOST SEEN on ANY ONE DAY in early, mid and late month thirds.
Essex Skipper sightings at Roseland House, Great Yeldham.
March April May June July August Sept
2011 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 11 1 0 0 0 0
2013 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 8 4 1 0 0 0 0
2014 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Adults in flight: AVERAGE SIGHTINGS PER COUNTING DAY in early, mid and late month thirds.
Essex Skipper sightings at Roseland House, Great Yeldham.         All species
March April May June July August Sept
2011 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.9 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.5 2.7 0.2 0 0 0 0
2013 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.3 3.8 2.0 0.3 0 0 0 0
2014 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.9 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Weather notes:
2011. July - early August very wet.
2012. April - mid July very wet. August to mid September dry.
2013. Winter wet, March and early April, very cold. The rest of the spring was mostly cold. July, mostly very warm. August, warm.
Validated as HTML5

26 June 2013