Sunday, 28 June 2015

Bugs on drugs ...

Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)





T. sylvestris typically inhabits rough grassland, where tall grasses can be found, and may occur on roadside verges, beside hedgerows, on overgrown downland, in woodland clearings and along woodland rides. It is often found basking on vegetation, or making its short, fast, buzzing flights amongst tall grass stems.

Despite its vernacular name, four other skipper species found in the British Isles are the same size or smaller than T. sylvestris. The Essex Skipper, Thymelicus lineola, and T. sylvestris are often mistaken for each other. They can be distinguished by the colour of the underside of the tips of the antennae. In T. lineola, this area is black and in T. sylvestris it is brown (as shown above). This holds true for both sexes. Males can also be distinguished by the sex brand found on the upperside of their forewings. The sex brand of a male T. lineola is relatively short when compared with that of a male T. sylvestris. The sex brand of T. lineola also runs parallel with the leading edge of the forewing, but at an angle in the male of T. sylvestris.

The adults are on the wing in June, through July, and into August.

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