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Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages)

On this page, we have made available all the information we have for this species

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Picture of Dingy Skipper
© Nick Greatorex-Davies

The Dingy Skipper is a declining species that occurs in discrete colonies in sunny sheltered unfertilised grassland where its main foodplant Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) grows in abundance. It can be frequent on disturbed land, especially brownfield sites such as abandoned industrial sites and disused railway land. (For further details on this species see

Family : Hesperiidae

Status : Stable

Status details :
Status since 1976 is Stable with a decrease of -22.5%
Status over the last 20 years is Stable with a increase of 34%
Status over the last 10 years is Stable with a increase of 22%

Log collated index plot

Species Log Collated Index Plot

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). For greater detail about how this index is derived, click on the green question mark above.

Trend description :
This UK BAP priority species has shown a steady and statistically significant decline since monitoring began. These declines have not been universal, but have occurred on many calcareous grassland sites as well as woodland sites. In the latter case increasing shadiness is probably an important factor. Increases have been recorded on some calcareous grassland sites. More recently these declines have lessened in large part due to years like 2011, which was a superb year for a number of spring species, and the short-term trend shows a stable population across monitored sites.

This map shows the distribution between 1995 and 2016. Data is derived from the Butterflies for the New Millenium dataset via the NBN Gateway

Phenology plot
Species Phenology Plot

Phenology plot

This chart shows the average number of butterflies seen on transects between Arpil 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.

Species abundance map


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.


In total, Dingy Skipper has been recorded from 453 transects in the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Of these, annual indices of abundance have been calculated from 465 sites, with an average index of 13 individuals per site.

For 220 of these sites, Dingy Skipper has been recorded well enough to calculate annual indices of abundance in more years, allowing trends to be calculated.

In 2019, 2773 individuals were recorded from 184 sites, producing annual indices at 126 of these.

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is organized and funded by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme.