High Weald

large_skipperThe Large Skipper Ochlodes faunus is a common butterfly in England and can be found in almost any sheltered patch of grassland that contains tall clumps of coarse grasses.  Males   are most often found perching in a prominent, sunny position, usually on a large leaf at a boundary between taller and shorter vegetation, awaiting passing females.

The presence of a faint chequered pattern on both sides of the wings distinguishes this species from the similar Small and Essex Skippers, which fly at the same time.

This butterfly favours grassy areas, where foodplants grow in sheltered, often damp, situations and remain tall and uncut. It is found in a wide variety of habitats where there are shrubs, tall herbs, and grasses, for example woodland rides and clearings, meadows, roadside verges, hedgerows, and wet heathland. Therefore you may be lucky enough to see these butterflies in any of these habitats across the High Weald.  It is also a species of urban habitats, occurring in parks, churchyards, and other places where its foodplants, long grasses, are found.

Visit the Sussex Butterfly Conservation website to keep track of recent sightings.