Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Rare and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Sep-Oct.

Forewing: 15-18mm.

Foodplant: Herbaceous and woody plants.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded187119992008
Year last recorded201220142012
Number of records42762
Number of individuals951082
Unique positions12112
Unique locations12122
Adult records42762
Immature records000

For the county, we have a total of 120 records from 26 sites. First recorded in 1871.


73.232 Northern Deep-brown Dart 01
© Damian Money

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: There are several recent County records for this moth, most of which are definitely the species named. However, there is some uncertainty as to whether ssp. lueneburgensis (Freyer), the Northern Deep-brown Dart (treated by many as a separate species), occurs in the County. Skinner (1984) describes the range of ssp. lutulenta (Denis & Schiffermuller) as being south of a line between the Severn and the Humber. This would suggest only the VC63 records are of this subspecies and lueneburgensis should be found over the rest of the County. However, none of the more northerly records have been presented as lueneburgensis, Lorimer (MBGBI 10) also suggested that lueneburgensis should occur in the County but without definite records it is impossible to say more.

Beaumont, 2002: There has long been uncertainty as to the identity of some Yorkshire specimens recorded under this name and of their distinction from A. lueneburgensis (Freyer) based on their respective distributional ranges as given by Skinner (1984). The most recent treatment (Ronkay, Yela and Hreblay, 2001) makes the comment that the status of the different populations of A. lutulenta (sens. lat.) is one of the unresolved taxonomic problems of the European trifine Noctuid fauna. They treat them as two distinct species, lutulenta having a Ponto-Mediterranean distribution and occurring no nearer to the British Isles than western Germany , while lueneburgensuis has a western and north-western European distribution. If this opinion is followed it would mean the removal of lutulenta from the Yorkshire (and British) list, all records being placed as lueneburgensis.

2012 (CHF): The situation remains confused. In the latest edition, Skinner (2009) says "I have followed the generally accepted opinion of most Continental authors, and classified A. lueneburgensis as a separate species although in some British works it is still treated as a subspecies of A. lutulenta. Waring (2009) lists them as two species with A. lutulenta south of a line from the Severn to the Humber and up into Lancashire and says that the two species are largely separated geographically.
Moths in Yorkshire tend to be submitted as Northern Deep-brown Dart as they most resemble this form which tends to be slightly smaller and less brown, though the markings are very variable. Whichever species we have in the county, there are two populations - one in the north of VC62 and the other in VC63, particularly in the east of the vice-county, though it does occasionally turn up at other sites. It can be locally common for a while eg numbers in double figures at Bran Sands in 2002 and recent records from Old Moor Wetlands and West Melton in VC63.

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