Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies
British Butterflies: Species: Species Account - The Large Chequered Skipper:
Large Chequered Skipper
Heteropterus morpheus (Pallas, 1771)

Large Chequered Skipper egg.
  Large Chequered Skipper caterpillar.
  Large Chequered Skipper chrysalis
Large Chequered Skipper
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Insecta: Lepidoptera : Family Hesperiidae: Subfamily Heteropterinae : Genus Heteropterus: Species morpheus:
The Large Chequered Skipper is thought to have been an accidental introduction to the UK. It only occurred on Jersey where it was always known by its French name Le Miroir. It was first seen in 1946 probably as a result of hay being brought over to the island during the period of German occupation during the Second World War. Although the butterfly persisted on the island for several decades the last confirmed sighting was in 1996 and it is now thought to be extinct on Jersey.
Sheltered damp grassland where the larval food plants occur.
The Large Chequered Skipper was found on a small site to the north of the Channel Island of Jersey. Over time the site became overgrown and gradually became unsuitable for the butterfly and by 1985 numbers were very low. It is thought to have been extinct since 1996.
Where to see the Large Chequered Skipper in the British Isles
Other notes
Lifecycle chart
Flight chart
The lifecycle and flight charts should be regarded as approximate guides to the Large Chequered Skipper in Britain. Specific lifecycle states, adult emergence and peak flight times vary from year to year due to variations in weather conditions.
IUCN category status 2010 5   IUCN category status 2007 34
--awaiting data-- --awaiting data--

5Fox, R., Warren, M., Brereton, T. M., Roy, D. B. & Robinson, A.
(2010) A new Red List of British Butterflies. Insect Conservation and Diversity.
Not Applicable Not Applicable

3Fox, R., Warren, M & Brereton, T.
(2007) New Red List of British Butterflies. Butterfly Conservation, Wareham.

4More information about IUCN categories.
UK status
Larval foodplants
On Jersey the larvae of the Large Chequered Skipper fed on Purple Moor-grass(Molinia caerulea) but on mainland Europe it feeds on a variety of other grasses including False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) Purple Small-reed (Calamagrostis canescens), and Common Reed(Phragmites australis).
Butterflies of Britain ID Chart
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Butterflies of Britain (Laminated ID Chart).
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Population trends 1
UK Population trend 1995-2004 not applicable
UK Population trend 1976-2004 not applicable

1Fox, R., Asher. J., Brereton. T., Roy, D & Warren, M. (2006) The State of Butterflies in Britain & Ireland, Pices, Oxford.
UK BAP status 2
UK BAP status not assessed (link)

2For information about the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, visit the JNCC web site

National Biodiversity Network Gateway
National Biodiversity Network Gateway Distribution Map

Areas in and indicate a contraction in distribution of the Large Chequered Skipper except in Ireland where data is only available up until 1999.

* Records shown in outside the natural distribution may be the result of illegal or accidental releases by breeders or, depending upon the species, migrant individuals from mainland Europe.

Key to map*
= 2000 to 2010 inclusive (current distribution)
= records from 1950 to 1999 inclusive
= records from 1900 to 1949 inclusive
Records prior to 1st January 1900 are not shown.

The NBN Gateway records are shown on the map right. (See terms and conditions).

More data is available on the Large Chequered Skipper on the NBN Gateway web site.
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For full details of books and reports mentioned on this web site, view the references page.

Find out more online*
Large Chequered Skipper can be found on Peter Eeles excellent UK Butterflies web site.
Large Chequered Skipper can be found on Matt Rowlings excellent European Butterflies web site.

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Photographs of the Large Chequered Skipper
There are 0 photographs of the Large Chequered Skipper in our stock photo library.