Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Very common and fairly widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 14-16mm.

Foodplant: Herbaceous plants.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded18831953188318831883
Year last recorded20142014201420142014
Number of records7114173719972252636
Number of individuals39064705810422173846233
Unique positions17012214515439
Unique locations17212013215135
Adult records7072172019792168635
Immature records80000

For the county, we have a total of 13736 records from 610 sites. First recorded in 1883.


2381 Uncertain 03
© Nick Lawman
2381 Uncertain 02
© Andy Nunn
2381 Uncertain 01
© Alan Draper

Species Account

Similar species: 2382 The Rustic Hoplodrina blanda.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Previously probably under-recorded due to confusion with H. blanda (Denis & Schifferrmuller), this species is now known to be the commoner of the two in most areas (though in Durham the reverse seems to be the case (Dunn & Parrack, 1986).

2012 (CHF): Porritt found Rustic to be commoner than Uncertain in the county. The reverse is certainly true now and Uncertain is very common and widespread across all of the county in good numbers eg 351 at High Batts NR on 9/7/11. Whilst fresh well marked examples of Rustic and Uncertain are easy to tell apart when seen together, there is still much confusion at times and worn specimens can be difficult to separate. The differences are as follows:
General appearance - Uncertain is has a rough texture whilst Rustic is smoother and glossy
Ground colour - Uncertain is ochreous/yellow-brown whilst Rustic is greyer-brown and colder in tone
Cross lines - Uncertain has well-defined contrasting cross lines especially the medial band. Rustic has more indistinct bands on a plainer wing.
Reniform stigma (kidney mark) - darker than the ground colour in Uncertain but similar to the ground colour in Rustic.
Flight time - Uncertain tends to emerge about two weeks before Rustic.
A combination of features should always be used to identify these two species. There will always be some specimens which you cannot identify to species level, especially late in the season. Bear in mind the other confusion species, Vine's Rustic and Mottled Rustic.

See background to species accounts.  Index of Vernacular names - Search - Random Species