Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus)
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© Nick Greatorex-Davies
The Large Skipper is a common butterfly that occurs in distinct colonies in sheltered uncut grassland in such situations as open scrub, along hedgerows and woodland rides and glades where its larvae feed on coarse grasses, particularly Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata). The species is expanding its range in Britain though colonies continue to be lost within its range due to habitat loss. (For further details on this species see http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/).
Status details :
Status since 1976 is Stable with a decrease of -26.3%
Status over the last 20 years is Stable with a decrease of -8.3%
Status over the last 10 years is Stable with a increase of 14%
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 is our most widespread skipper having been recorded on almost 1,200 different UKBMS sites since 1976 and in approximately 50% of transects annually. Its abundance on monitored sites is classed as stable, having fluctuated greatly over time and despite more sites showing declines than increases. In 2008, when many UK butterflies suffered declines because of a run of two extremely poor summers, Large Skipper produced its worst annual index but since then has bounced back to above average numbers. The massive increase at Monks Wood is linked to a dramatic increase in coarse grasses on which the larvae feed.
This map shows the distribution between 1995 and 2016. Data is derived from the Butterflies for the New Millenium dataset via the NBN Gateway
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.
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, Large Skipper has been recorded from 816 transects in the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Of these, annual indices of abundance have been calculated from 933 sites, with an average index of 25 individuals per site.
For 450 of these sites, Large Skipper has been recorded well enough to calculate annual indices of abundance in more years, allowing trends to be calculated.
In 2018, 12482 individuals were recorded from 508 sites, producing annual indices at 414 of these.
Links to counts
This map shows the trend in abundance at particular transect sites for which data has been received within the last five years. Trends (increasing, declining or stable) are assessed at sites where the species has more than five years of annual index data. Use the option boxes below to view plots for individual sites.
Links to lists of sites with particular statuses
|Colonised sites (7)|
|Extinct sites (6)|
|Stable sites (550)|
|Increasing sites (78)|
|Declining sites (159)|