Small skipper butterfly
A small furry orange coloured butterfly with short wings which are held partially closed when the butterfly is at rest.
This is a small furry butterfly with short wings that are held partially closed when the butterfly is at rest. The wings and uppersides of the body are a rusty orange colour, as are the tips of its antennae. The undersides of the body is silvery white.
Caterpillars are green with darker green lines and a single white line.
They inhabit Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
This species is generally found in places where tall grasses grow, such as meadows, edges of woodland and grassland.
The caterpillars feed on various grasses and the adults drink nectar from flowers such as thistles.
This butterfly is capable of very rapid darting flight, manoeuvring expertly through tall grass stems. They are more likely, however, to be seen resting at a flower drinking nectar or simply basking in the sun.
Eggs are laid loosely inside grass sheathes. When the caterpillars hatch they find a grass sheath of their own and seal it with silk, making a protective cocoon in which they hibernate through the winter. The caterpillars emerge the next spring and begin feeding on grass leaves.
Small skippers are not listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List 2000.