Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Very common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Aug.

Forewing: 22-28mm.

Foodplant: Many small plants, trees and shrubs.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded19041904184518831880
Year last recorded20142014201420142014
Number of records2539175013632343533
Number of individuals25892441188844121022
Unique positions14617221224343
Unique locations14815820824640
Adult records2495172012702232520
Immature records53313

For the county, we have a total of 8528 records from 800 sites. First recorded in 1845.


70.252 Peppered Moth 09
© Colin Duke (C) All Rights Reserved 2016
70.252 Peppered Moth 08
© Colin Duke (C) All Rights Reserved 2016
70.252 Peppered Moth 07 f. insularia
© Andy Nunn
70.252 Peppered Moth 06 f. carbonaria
© Andy Nunn
70.252 Peppered Moth 05
© Andy Nunn
70.252 Peppered Moth 04
© Paul Kipling, 20 Jun 2009
70.252 Peppered Moth 03
© Paul Kipling, 20 Jun 2009
70.252 Peppered Moth 02
© Ian Andrews
70.252 Peppered Moth 01 f. carbonaria
© Damian Money

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Widely distributed and often common in all five vice-counties. The larvae feed on most trees, and are also particularly fond of garden roses! (AMRH). The melanic form f. carbonaria (Jordan) is most common over much of the County, only a small percentage of moths being f. insularia (Thierry-Meig) and the type. In only a few areas, for instance Sedbergh (west VC65) are these latter forms most frequent (J. Mounsey per FBS). However, a few more do seem to be appearing in some other areas over the last few years.

Beaumont, 2002:
VC61. Spurn, since 1998 most have been the typical form, prior to that year there was a rapid change over about three years from the majority being melanic to the majority being typical (BRS).
VC62. Hutton Rudby, a steady decrease in melanic moths over the past decade, from 70% in 1990 to 40% by 2000 (GWF).

2012 (CHF): Still widespread and common over the county. Since 2002, the melanic form has become even more uncommon whilst the intermediate forms (f. insularia) still occur in about the same proportion. In 2011, out of 466 records submitted, 14 were f. carbonaria and nine were f. insularia.

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