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Skippers are small moth-like butterflies that form colonies in rough unfertilised grassland. Their have a rapid, whirring flight, appearing to 'skip' just above the grassheads. The small skipper is identical to the Essex skipper except that this has black tips to its antennae. Both it and the large skipper are likely to be found in any unmanaged open grassland.

By contrast, the dingy skipper is now believed to be extinct in Essex and the grizzled skipper is reduced to a single surviving colony at Langdon nature reserve near Basildon.

© Tony Gunton