British Wildlife Wiki


This butterfly was discovered in Jersey in 1946 at 3 separate sites, but subsequently became restricted to a single, small site in the north of the island. It is believed that larvae were accidentally introduced in hay that was imported from France during the Second World War while under German occupation (1940-1945). There was a petrol shortage on the island, and this led to an increased use of horses. The butterfly has been extinct on the island since 1996.

Chequered skipper

Chequered Skipper

In Jersey, the butterfly was known by its French name of Le Miroir (“the mirror”), referring to the appearance of the white spots on the hindwings, which resemble beads of water on glass. The butterfly forms discrete colonies and, where it does exist, can occur in large numbers

About Chequered Skipper[]

This butterfly has a wingspan of 29 to 31 mm. The uppersides are a dark brown with a dusting of orange scales at the base of the wings and golden spots, giving it its English name of Chequered Skipper. The basic pattern on the underside is similar but the forewings are orange with dark spots, and the hindwings are russet with cream spots rimmed in black. The sexes are similar although females are generally slightly larger.

British Population[]

The Chequered Skipper has been extinct in England since 1976 but has stable populations in western Scotland. Attempts to reintroduce the butterfly to England were started in the 1990s. It was previously quite widespread in the midlands of England with isolated populations as far afield as Devon and Hampshire. It is thought that the cessation of coppicing in English woodlands is the main cause of its extinction. It was only discovered in Scotland in 1939 where it is found grassland on the edges of open broad-leaved woodland.


As the name suggests, this small, fast-flying, chocolate-brown butterfly has a chequered patterning on both the hind- and forewings. Although the sexes are similar in appearance, females are somewhat larger than males . The caterpillar grows to 2.3 centimetres in length; before it undergoes hibernation it is green with darker green and white lines, but after emerging it becomes brownish white, with pinkish-brown and white lines