Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Scarce and thinly distributed or restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jul-Aug.

Forewing: M 25-34mm. F 33-40mm.

Foodplant: Heathers, Bilberry, Bramble other woody plants.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded19281930187318041880
Year last recorded20142014201420142013
Number of records33914914621050
Number of individuals389132430283125
Unique positions3910510013136
Unique locations42858711236
Adult records330746312621
Immature records760657422

For the county, we have a total of 894 records from 362 sites. First recorded in 1804.


66.007 Northern Eggar
© Nancy Stedman
66.007 Oak Eggar 06 larvae
© Andrew Rhodes
66.007 Oak Eggar 05
© Andy Nunn
66.007 Oak Eggar 04 mating pair
© Derek Parkinson
66.007 Oak Eggar 03
© Ron Moat
66.007 Oak Eggar 02 larva
© Lee Wiseman
66.007 Oak Eggar 01
© Damian Money

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: There are two subspecies of this moth, ssp. callunae (Palmer), the Northern Eggar and ssp. quercus (Linnaeus), the Oak Eggar. The main difference are in habitat preferences and phenology, callunae has a two year life-cycle whilst quercus completes its growth in a single year. In Derbyshire Harrison and Sterling (1986) comment that in callunae (the most frequent of the two) the adult insects are only found in odd-numbered years. In Yorkshire this seems to be the case in the west (see Kettlewell, 1973 for example), however in the North York Moors adult insects are recorded in both odd and even years, although there have been no indications of numbers involved so it may be that the majority are synchronised in odd-number years. Yorkshire records which distinguish between the two suggest that quercus is only found in the south-east of the County (Spurn Point, VC61, and possibly Hatfield Moor, VC62). Callunae is common on high moors and lowland mosses throughout vice-counties 61-64, although not recorded from VC65 there seems to be no reason why it should not be present.

2012 (CHF): Both subspecies seem to be doing well in upland and lowland areas.

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