Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Very rare and very local migrant/wanderer.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: -

Forewing: -

Foodplant: -

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded2006
Year last recorded2014
Number of records14
Number of individuals15
Unique positions7
Unique locations7
Adult records14
Immature records0

For the county, we have a total of 14 records from 7 sites. First recorded in 2006.


70.004 Least Carpet 2020 map
© C H Fletcher
70.004 Least Carpet 04
© Dave Shenton
70.004 Least Carpet 03
© Damian Money
70.004 Least Carpet 02
© Barry Spence, 5 Jul 2006
70.004 Least Carpet 01
© John Edwards

Species Account

Argus 52, 2006: This moth is currently going a major range expansion from its stronghold in the Thames Valley. In the recent Rothamsted report Least Carpet was top of the table of moths increasing in number. It will be interesting to see whether it continues to spread throughout Yorkshire.
VC61. Kilnsea, 5.7.2006 (BRS). NEW COUNTY RECORD.

Current status (CHF, 2011): NEW COUNTY RECORD - Spurn 2006 and 2008. This species was first recorded in London in 1831. A major range expansion to the north and west took place from the 1950s and in the Rothamsted data, the population increased by 41,000% between 1968 and 2002 making it the moth with the greatest population expansion. It was only a matter of time before one reached Yorkshire, and we are likely to see more in years to come.

2020 (CHF): Least Carpet has had another good year. This illustrated a typical way that moths colonise the county. Many species have invaded us from the south east with very similar patterns to this. The typical scenario is illustrated well here.

First arrives in the county at Spurn (2006)

A gap of a few years then more records from Spurn and the occasional record further up the coast (2013).

Starts to appear every year at Spurn.

The first appearance in the south-east of VC63 (2017).

A period of major expansion, in this case with records up to the north of VC62, into the west of VC63 in Calderdale and into VC64 in Wharfedale (2019).

A period of contraction and consolidation, with "filling in" in VC61 (2020). This year it involved six different sites and four different 10K squares.

I would expect the next couple of years to show more consolidation in VC61 followed by a slower and steadier spread north and west. The only probable second brood example we have had was the Calderdale moth on 27/9/19, but second broods are likely to become more common. This is of course all dependent upon weather patterns and may well be influenced by the presence or absence of its parasitoids which may well check the spread.

Many other species have shown variations of this pattern including Vine's Rustic, Scarce Footman, Pine Hawk-moth, Dingy Footman and the recent wave of Coronet. There are one or two species which look as if they are going to do the same in years to come for example Tree-lichen Beauty and Toadflax Brocade.

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