Erynnis tages | Dingy Skipper | Donnán

Pre 2017

2017 - 2021


Conservation status

Ireland: Near Threatened (Regan et al., 2010)
Europe: Least Concern (van Swaay et al., 2010)
Climate risk category: Potential Climate Change Risk; present distribution in Europe can be explained by climate to only a limited extent (Settele et al., 2008)

Legal status

The Dingy Skipper is not afforded legal protection in Ireland.

Native status


Species Biology


Key identification features include:

  • Small size, wingspan: 27 - 34 mm
  • Dark grey/brown mottled colouration
  • Distinctly clubbed antennae


Generalist, found on unimproved dry calcareous grassland and limestone pavement. The adults fly rapidly and erratically close to the ground in sunny conditions; they also bask with opened wings and often land on bare ground, but rarely on flowers. In dull
weather and at night they rest on dead heads of Knapweed (Centauria spp.) or grass inflorescences where their cryptic colouration is very effective (Bond & Gittings, 2008).

Flight period

Univoltine: from May to July.

Life cycle

Eggs are laid on low herbs; laid on the upper surface near the base of a leaflet, or on the petiole at the junction of the larger leaflets. The larva feeds externally on the foliage of Bird's-foot Trefoil. It constructs a hibernaculum, usually on the foodplant when full-grown in mid-August, overwintering there and pupating in it about mid-April (Bond & Gittings, 2008).

Food plants

Specialist, the larvae feed exclusively on Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus).

Flowers visited

Generalist, adult nectar sources include: Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Bugle (Ajuga reptans), Buttercups (Ranunculus spp.), Hawkweeds (Hieracium/Hypochoeris), Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) and Vetches (Vicia spp.).


World distribution(GBIF)

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2021

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.



Bond, K.G.M. and Gittings, T. 2008. Database of Irish Lepidoptera. 1 - Macrohabitats, microsites and traits of Noctuidae and butterflies. Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 35. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland.

Regan, E.C., Nelson, B., Aldwell, B., Bertrand, C., Bond, K., Harding, J., Nash, D., Nixon, D. and Wilson, C.J. 2010. Ireland Red List No. 4 – Butterflies. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland.

Settele, J., Kudrna, O., Harpke, A., Kühn, I., Van Swaay, C., Verovnik, R., Warren, M.S., Wiemers, M., Hanspach, J., Hickler, T. and Kühn, E. 2008. Climatic risk atlas of European butterflies. Sofia-Moscow: Pensoft.

Van Swaay, C., Cuttelod, A., Collins, S., Maes, D., López Munguira, M., Šašic, M., Settele, J., Verovnik, R., Verstrael, T., Warren, M., Wiemers, M. and Wynhof, I. 2010. European Red List of Butterflies. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.