Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: RDB3

Local Status: Rare and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: Mid Jun-early Aug.

Forewing: 7-9mm.

Foodplant: Glaucous Sedge.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded1882
Year last recorded2014
Number of records35
Number of individuals180
Unique positions24
Unique locations17
Adult records32
Immature records0

For the county, we have a total of 35 records from 17 sites. First recorded in 1882.


73.146 Least Minor 03 (right) Middle-Barred Minor for comparison
© Paul Millard
73.146 Least Minor 02
© Paul Millard
73.146 Least Minor 01
© Paul Millard

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: This species is very local in Britain, only being found in a few localities in northern England from Yorkshire north to Northumberland. One of its best known sites is Grass Wood near Grassington (VC64) where it has long been established, the most recent record from this site was in 1980 (SMJ). There are unconfirmed records from two other sites in the County, these would be of great interest if confirmation could be made.

Beaumont, 2002:
VC64. Grass Wood, eight 7.7.1994, about 100 assembling to females on ragwort 16.7.1994 (MRB); Malham Tarn, many flying in afternoon sunshine 13-20.6.1997 (MRY).

2012 (CHF): This is one of Yorkshire's most important moths and is a Red Data Book species. Its current range in the country seems to be limited to the west of VC64 and a small area of south Cumbria and north Lancashire in limestone grassland. It used to be present in coastal areas of Northumberland and Durham but has not been seen there since 1985 despite searching. It is usually seen flying by day but it does come to light. The first record in the county as related by Porritt was taken at Grass Wood on the YNU outing on 7.8.1882 by a Mr E.P.P. Butterfield. It has been seen subsequently at that site but not since 1995. The most recent records have come from the Malham and Kettlewell areas.

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