A small butterfly that likes flowery downs and slopes; they fly close to the ground preferring soil and rocks as resting places.
Grizzled Skipper: streaks of greyPost date: Wednesday, 6 May, 2015 - 00:00
Grizzled Skipper in Dorset: what your tweets tell us ...Post date: Monday, 8 April, 2019 - 21:02
The grizzled skipper is the smallest of the skippers. It is a very active butterfly and difficult to follow in flight and it rarely visits flowers so it is not that easy to record. They do like to rest on bare patches of soil and that seems to be your best bet to get close to them. Once you get your eye in they are quite distinctive in flight and if you find one settled and it then flies off watch it closely and then you will recognise them when you see them by their flight behaviour. They can be found in a wide range of grassy habitats where the grass is not too long and where there are bare patches so look for them on chalk downs, dunes, heaths, disused railway lines and even in woodlands. They are not common but they cannot be described as rare either and can be fairly numerous where they do occur.
This species can be seen from as early as late March until mid-July and in some years one may encounter a second brood in August. The Nature of Dorset database has only eight records for 2017 and 2018 and certainly May and early June seems to be the best time for them here.
There are records from thirteen sites in Dorset so far, mostly on chalk downland, and Giant Hill has produced the most reports, possibly because they fly at the same time as the Duke of Burgundy which attracts butterfly enthusiasts every year. I would certainly recommend Giant Hill on a warm May day as your best chance to get acquainted with the grizzled skipper.
|Common Name||Grizzled Skipper|
|Scientific Name||Pyrgus malvae|
|Species Group||Hesperid Butterflies Skippers|
|Additional Identification Notes|