Species Account

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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: Three generations, Mar-May, Jun-Aug, Sep-Oct.

Forewing: 15-22mm.

Foodplant: Woody plants.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded19041883188318831883
Year last recorded20142014201420152014
Number of records76969150571987
Number of individuals1136153810831664107
Unique positions10014412814224
Unique locations10113512414322
Adult records75766047968286
Immature records11000

For the county, we have a total of 2771 records from 525 sites. First recorded in 1883.


70.270 Engrailed 08 larva
© Andy Nunn
70.270 Engrailed 07
© Andy Nunn
70.270 Engrailed 06
© Andy Nunn
70.270 Engrailed 05
© Dave Shenton
70.270 Engrailed 04 larva
© Derek Parkinson
70.270 Engrailed 02 dark form
© Alan Draper
70.270 Engrailed 03 larva
© Terry Box
70.270 Engrailed 01
© Damian Money

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Recorded from all five vice-counties and both imagines and larvae are said to be frequent. However, this species and E. crepuscularia (Denis & Schiffermuller) are very difficult to separate, even by dissection so the date of capture is often a crucial item of information. In the period when both species are flying almost all records are suspect and the Rothamsted Insect Survey records them as one species for the purpose of their survey because of these difficulties.

Beaumont, 2002: This taxon and the next have long caused problems and in the past records have been assigned to one or the other largely on the basis of the flight period, a means of distinction that is becoming more and more unreliable given that the flight period of many species has shown considerable change during the past decade. On the continent (from where both were named) they are considered conspecific, the name crepuscularia having priority. If our two taxa are shown to be distinct the Small Engrailed will require a new name. (see Agassiz, 2000).

2012 (CHF): The situation is still confused with Engrailed and Small Engrailed. Wing markings are identical and there is no difference in genitalia but the official British position is that they are two separate species. Continental authors still seem to disagree! Widespread across the county and often common in broadleaved woodland.

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