Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Scarce and local resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: Aug-Sep.

Forewing: 14-18mm

Foodplant: Heather and Bilberry

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded19781883188318831880
Year last recorded20122013201120132014
Number of records259442304110
Number of individuals40184281452713
Unique positions1024296523
Unique locations1024316524
Adult records259228294101
Immature records00000

For the county, we have a total of 575 records from 154 sites. First recorded in 1880.


70.110 Small Autumnal Moth 01
© Graham Feathestone

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: The only fairly easily distinguishable member of the genus, at least if habitat and flight periods are considered. This moth is frequently recorded from higher moorland areas and occasionally from lower sites, presumably where heather occurs. S.P. Garland in 'The Moths of Sheffield' makes the interesting point that the flight period of this moth coincides with the grouse-shooting season when many moors may have very limited access, so it may well be under-recorded.

2012 (CHF): This species really ought to be much easier to identify than the other three Epirrita species. It flies in late August/early September (ie at least a month before the others), it is significantly smaller, and it favours upland areas. There are however difficulties. Large specimens occur with wing markings identical to Autumnal Moth and flight times overlap. To make it even harder, the genitalia are indistinguishable. Waring says "an Epirrita moth in August on northern moorland is almost certain to be this species" and he may be correct, but the situation is not as simple as it might seem!

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