Essex Skipper (Female)
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Another from the Archive, posting this quickly to test the up-load as there seems to be a problem from the UK.|
will post proper notes later if this loads, so in the mean time enjoy.
Ok so it's much later and a couple of people have looked at it, and I think they are right it is not a small Skipper as I 1st thought but an Essex Skipper, the reason being the underside of the antennae is black and not brown. I had 1st Identiefied it as a small skipper because in my butterfly book the maps show it not being present in Nottinghamshire, should of checked the natural history records for the county because they were 1st seen in colwick country park 1995,7 miles further north from where I took the photo in and the site said they had rapidly spread even further north since then. Compare it if you like with this one shot at work Small Skipper and Friends
This is my 1st recording of an ESSEX SKIPPER (Thymelicus lineola) and was next to a small pond some times featured in my images from Stanton on the Wolds a small village where I lived as a teenager.
Aparently this butterfly was only identiefied in 1888 in the county of Essex by a Mr. Hawes, hence the name. though it is now thought to have been here allalong, just not recoqnised. the other main difference between the two species is that the Essex overwinters as an egg and not a catterpillar. On the wing between July and August, the male patrol small areas of territory waiting for female to turn up. The eggs are laid in a row inside a curled grass leaf blade, in this stage it will over winter hatching out in warmer days of spring, this habit has an unusual advantage over the overwintering caterpillar in that it has been observed to surive being flooded during several major wide spread floods in which overwintering caterpillars died.
in early summer it will pupate in a coarse coocon in leaves near or on the ground , emerging in early to mid July,. The adult butterfly with it's wings wide open is only 28mm / 1 1/8ins across. though most people will recognise it by the skipper habit of resting with it's wings looking like a X-wing fighter from star wars as you see in this image.
Your best chance of getting a photo is either very early in the morning when they are warming up and a little slow or later in the day when they are feeding on nectre rich flowers like thistles, were they may pause long enough for you to get close enough to get a shot off or several if you are lucky.
Hope you like the added notes.
Merlin, scottevers7 has marked this note useful
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- [2006-01-15 1:28]
What a nice Small skipper that you have well captured ! It is pleasant to butterfly during winter ;-) Congratulations Robert and thanks for sharing.
What a charming portrait of the skipper as a young man - and just for testing! Robert, looking forward to reading your notes on ID. We seem to get a cute little collection of skippers on TN. I enjoy your contribution.
And thank you for keeping the TN site working. To me, it has become one of the best places to visit, at all.
Best regards, Peter
P.S.: Sorry, Robert. I did not read the title you provided. The skipper is a lady. Males do have a black spot, as often. I should have known that.
- [2006-01-15 6:27]
Very good shot of a Hesperiidae!
Could be a Thymelicus lineola (Ochsenheimer, 1808)?
Very good on details, colours and BG!
Very nice POV too!
- [2006-01-15 10:35]
A very nicely composed shot of this little butterfly. The underside of the antenna tip does look like it could be black rather than orange/brown, though ;)
This is an excellent shot of this skipper. Exposure looks great in this soft light. Nice saturated colors, and the detail looks great. So is the Sony still giving you trouble, and the Nikon not arrived yet?