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  • The silver-spotted skipper

Silver-spotted Skipper

Pictured: silver-spotted skipper, hesperia comma

Notes from Jenyns: found in profusion on the Devils Ditch, more particularly between the Running Gap & the Turnpike. ~ The females appear later than the males: These last first showing themselves the second week in August. ~ The specimens remarkably large & fine. ~ Cherry Hinton.

200-year trend in Cambridgeshire: Decline to local extinction.

Modern records

Jenyns’ notes suggest that this species was once quite common across the chalklands of the county. However, it has since been lost from Cambridgeshire. This is thought in part to be due to their chalk grassland habitats becoming overgrown when myxomatosis wiped out grazing rabbit populations in the mid-1900s. That being said, in recent years the species has been expanding in range and number across southern central England, so whether it could ever recolonise the county in coming decades remains to be seen.

National records map

Silver-spotted skipper national records map: https://species.nbnatlas.org/species/NHMSYS0000502853