Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Dingy skipper puts in rare appearance in Worcestershire woodland

First time a dingy skipper has been recorded in Monkwood area since 1995

June 2011: A locally scarce butterfly has been spotted at a woodland nature reserve on the outskirts of Worcester.

Numbers of dingy skippers have increased in parts of Worcestershire, such the Wyre Forest, in recent years. This is the first time it's been seen in the Monkwood area for many years.

James Hitchcock, conservation officer for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said: ‘Dingy skippers used to be found on Monkwood Green and in our adjacent woodland but we haven't recorded them there since 1995.

‘With the warm springs of the past few years, we have seen dingy skippers flying in good numbers elsewhere in the county and there have been promising signs of natural spread and recolonisation.'

Butterfly has been suffering serious national decline
The butterfly has suffered serious decline nationally and is a priority species for conservation. It is found in only a handful of sites in Worcestershire. This sighting and their increased numbers around the county bodes well for their future.

James added: ‘Monkwood is jointly owned by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation. We've spent the last couple of years undertaking vital work to improve the woodland habitat for butterflies.

‘It's great to see that our efforts are paying off. Last year we discovered nine previously unrecorded micro-moths in the woodland.

‘This year has also seen good numbers of the nationally rare leaf-rolling weevils in the woodland. They're only known to live in about ten woodlands in England and three of those are in Worcestershire.'

Dingy skippers are small, brown and grey butterflies. They're often seen basking in the sunshine on bare ground with their wings spread out. In dull weather they perch on the top of dead flowers with curved wings. They can be confused with other butterflies and moths such as the grizzled skipper.


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