Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Fairly common and fairly widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 18-25mm.

Foodplant: Blackthorn, Hawthorns, Privet, Red and Black Currant.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded19281930186418861947
Year last recorded20142014201420142014
Number of records1256900453803151
Number of individuals173815956111145173
Unique positions13011411714023
Unique locations12610612014424
Adult records1203848375764142
Immature records111230

For the county, we have a total of 3563 records from 520 sites. First recorded in 1864.


70.205 Magpie Moth 05 larva
© Andy Nunn
70.205 Magpie Moth 04
© Andy Nunn
70.205 Magpie Moth 03
© Lee Wiseman
70.205 Magpie Moth 02
© Ian Marshall, 30 Jun 2007
70.205 Magpie Moth 01
© Ian Andrews

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Widely distributed but now only locally common in all five vice-counties. This moth used to be generally abundant, especially in suburban areas. However, it has declined considerably, possibly as a result of the increased use of pesticides on garden and allotment plants. It is now more a species of hedgerows, but even here is less common than formerly.

2012 (CHF): Still fairly widespread in small numbers across the county but certainly not as common as it used to be and it has declined further since 1989. Waring describes it as most abundant on northern heather moorlands. This may be the case in the north-west of Scotland but not in Yorkshire where this is a lowland moth.

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