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DSCN2077 Dingy Skipper(lat)

 Dingy skipper     © D Hardiman 2004

    Dingy skipper     © D Hardiman 2005




The Dingy Skipper is local, especially in limestone areas and on eskers, and has been most commonly reported from north Clare, south Clare and from limestone areas in Sligo and the Midlands.  
It is single brooded.


From early May to the end of June


Bird's-foot-trefoil   Lotus corniculatus


Overwinters as a larva 

The adult is very active in sunlight, its flight is fast and has a skipping-like motion.  In the evening or in overcast weather it may be found resting on tall green  grasses with its wings folded over its back, unlike the other butterflies who hold their wings upright over their body.  The Dingy Skipper is sometimes confused with the day flying moths Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion.

 DSCN0013 Mother Shipton Callistege mi © D Hardiman         Burnet Companion





Life Cycle of  the Dingy Skipper



The egg is spherical with flattened base and measures c.0.5 mm in height and diameter.  Initially  pale yellow in colour, soon turning to bright  orange as it matures.
Single eggs may be found on the tips of  leaflets of  Bird's-foot-trefoil from the end of  May to early July.
They are laid on the upper surface of the leaf  and hatch within 14 days. 


2010_05_31 DS ova Moyvalley

© DHardiman 2010  



The fairly stout larva measures up to 20 mm in length, tapering towards the extremities. 
The body is green and sometimes tinged with brown and has a dark green mediodorsal line.
The head is purplish-black.     


© DHardiman 2002  

The young larva spins a tent from a few Bird's-foot-trefoil leaves (Lotus corniculatus) in which it lives and feeds by night. New shelters are constructed as the old ones are consumed and when fully fed, around  mid-August, it constructs a more substantial and larger hibernaculum in which  it overwinters until the end of April when it enters pupation without further feeding.  This larval stage lasting  c.10 months.


 Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
                                           © DHardiman 2004  



Pupation occurs within the larval hibernaculum to which it is firmly attached by cremasteral hooks.
This pupal stage continues for c.4-5 weeks. 

Hibernaculum    ©DHardiman 2009



The adult emerges in May and is on the wing from early to mid-May until the end of  June.
 It rarely visits flowers.


  Dingy skipper, Ahenny Quarry                             © DHardiman 





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Hesperidae ] Pieridae ] Lycaenidae ] Nymphalidae ] Satyridae ] Migrants ] .