Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola)

Species description
© - Nick Greatorex-Davies

The Essex Skipper occurs in self-contained colonies in tall dry grassland in open sunny situations. The butterfly mainly uses Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata) or Creeping Soft Grass (Holcus mollis) as hoodplants, but several other grasses are sometimes used. The butterfly is currently expanding its range northwards and westwards from south-east England. (For further details on this species see

LCI summary

Log Collated

This chart shows the index of abundance (LCI = Log Collated Index) over time. It shows fluctuations in populations from year to year, and is scaled so that the average index over the whole series is equal to 2 (horizontal line). Further details on the analysis of UKBMS data can be found [here]

This chart shows the average number of butterflies seen on transects between April and October across all sites (fitted values from a Generalised Additive Model). The blue line gives average counts over the full BMS series (1976 to date) and the red line gives the average for the last year.

This map shows symbols for the mean abundance at transect sites, with the colour of the symbol reflecting the level of abundance. Means are over all years. Grey background squares are the occupied cells as shown by the Butterflies for the New Millenium over the previous ten year period.