This is our commonest native skipper, and
is active on the wing from July to September. The caterpillar feeds on various
grasses and I believe that winter is spent in the larval state, although I have
not been able to verify this personally. As can be seen from the photographs,
the larva and pupa are easily distinguishable from those of Thymelicus
lineola, and if you would like to be able to impress your friends and
colleagues by being able to identify a skipper egg at least down to subfamilial
level, you can note that a hesperiine egg is not ribbed, while a pyrgine egg
has about 15 conspicuous ribs!
The butterfly is usually called the Woodland Skipper, which is also implied by the name sylvanoides, though it is not a particularly appropriate name, since woodland is almost the only habitat where you can almost guarantee not to see it!