Large Skipper Ochlodes venata
It is very easy to mistake skippers for moths. Their large body and very small wings do not remind you much of the grace and colours of, for instance, the Peacock. Nevertheless skippers are real butterflies. The main difference between butterflies and moths is that with moths the two wings are connected. Butterflies lack this connection. Moths are therefore steadier flyers, though not necessarily better flyers. There is another way to tell the two groups apart: the antennae of Butterflies are always rather short, thin like a wire and end in a little knot or dot. The moths have very varying antennae: like a comb, short and thick or long and thin, but never the shape of that of the butterflies. Skippers belong to their own family of butterflies called scientifically Hesperiidae. The Large Skipper may reach a wingspan of some 33 mm, but it looks much smaller because of the tiny wings. The males differ considerably from the females. The wings of the males are rather unmarked, except for a thick black line of scenting scales. The scent dispersed by these scales has one purpose only: to attract females. A male is depicted in the photograph at the top. Just below a female. She has some markings on her wing, but lacks the line of scenting scales. A common species all over Britain.