Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nb

Local Status: Rare and local resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 16-19mm.

Foodplant: Wormwood.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded1960195019561963
Year last recorded2014201420021963
Number of records261111
Number of individuals05190
Unique positions23581
Unique locations23481
Adult records142100
Immature records0701

For the county, we have a total of 75 records from 45 sites. First recorded in 1950.


73.050 Wormwood 03
© Ian Marshall, 6 Aug 2015
73.050 Wormwood 02 larva on Mugwort
© Dave Shenton
73.050 Wormwood 01
© Dave Shenton

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: There have been very few records of this species since the late 1960s when it appeared to become quite common on slag heaps and waste ground, moving north as its foodplant colonised disturbed road verges on the A1. Whether these areas are being tidied-up or whether the moth is decreasing for other reasons is unclear.

2012 (CHF): This species was unknown to Porritt as at that time it was confined to southern coastal habitats. After the war its foodplant became more common on bombed sites and other disturbed areas and the moth spread as far north as south Yorkshire which was colonised in the 1950s. It has never been common in the county with scattered records mostly in VC63 and the south of VC64 but since 2000 it has become rarer with very few reported. The distribution in the rest of England is very patchy and it is probably declining everywhere.

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