Species Account

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Distribution


 
 

Summary Data


Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Very rare and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jul-Aug

Forewing: 18-28mm

Foodplant: Various trees

Regional breakdown:

 VC61VC63VC64
Year first recorded188318831883
Year last recorded201420141883
Number of records331
Number of individuals210
Unique positions331
Unique locations331
Adult records331
Immature records000

For the county, we have a total of 7 records from 7 sites. First recorded in 1883.
 

Photos


72.010 Black Arches map
© C H Fletcher
72.010 Black Arches 01
© Damian Money

Species Account


Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Not definitely recorded since Porritt (1883-86) when it had been reported from Barnsley, Doncaster (VC63), near Riccall, Selby (VC61) 'and I think also at Bishop's Wood', also at Sheffield in the 'old lists'.

2012 (CHF): One at Bishop Burton on 16.8.2004 was the first since Porritt's time. The following year Lancashire had its first record. This species is doing well to the south of us and is slowly moving north so we may see more records in years to come.

2021 (CHF): In Porritt’s time, Yorkshire was the northern limit for Black Arches. He described it as occurring at Barnsley, Doncaster, Riccall, Bishop Wood and in “old lists” at Sheffield. There are also some specimens in the Booth Museum at Brighton of adults bred from eggs taken near Middlesbrough in 1913, and this remains the most northerly record in the country. It then retreated southwards in the same pattern as Chocolate-tip to the Midlands and East Anglia, and evidence of spread to the north started about fifty years ago.

2020 (CHF): In Porritt’s time, Yorkshire was the northern limit for Black Arches. He described it as occurring at Barnsley, Doncaster, Riccall, Bishop Wood and in “old lists” at Sheffield. There are also some specimens in the Booth Museum at Brighton of adults bred from eggs taken near Middlesbrough in 1913, and this remains the most northerly record in the country. It then retreated southwards in the same pattern as Chocolate-tip to the Midlands and East Anglia, and evidence of spread to the north started about fifty years ago.

It reappeared in Yorkshire in 2004 when a moth was found at Bishop Burton in VC61. The next was not seen until 2014 but it has appeared every year since then in increasing numbers. One at Bilsdale in VC62 in 2015 was a major jump north, but as so often happens this appears to be a wandering potential coloniser and this species has done the usual trick of falling back and consolidating its presence in the south and south-east of the county. In 2020 there were a remarkable ten records from five sites. There was a major jump to the west when one was caught near Hebden Bridge by a new moth trapper, operating her trap for the first time. This of course should really not be allowed! Most likely this was another wandering moth but there is now a population in Lancashire, not too far away. There were no more records from the east of VC61 which was a little surprising. Again, it will be fascinating to see what happens next. Further consolidation in the south-east of Yorkshire is likely, but will we see it colonising other areas in the next few years? The food plant is predominantly oak, so mature oak woodland is the preferred habitat, but it seems to be able to turn up in all sorts of places.
 

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