Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Scarce and local resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Jul.

Forewing: 15-18mm.

Foodplant: Common Reed.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded19291991196219882014
Year last recorded20142014201420142014
Number of records165940201
Number of individuals17315122241
Unique positions3641551
Unique locations3841251
Adult records157937201
Immature records00000

For the county, we have a total of 235 records from 60 sites. First recorded in 1929.


2204 Obscure Wainscot 02
© Andy Nunn
2204 Obscure Wainscot 01
© Charles Fletcher, 16 Jun 2006

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Very local in reed-beds. Until 1970 there were only two known localities for this species, Skipwith Common (VC61) and Thorne Moors (VC63). In the last few years it has been recorded from many new sites. However, it has been suggested (PQW pers. comm.) that people have been searching in more inaccessible areas (in terms of light trapping) and finding already established colonies rather than the species actually spreading.

2012 (CHF): There have been several more sites for this species and it does genuinely appear to have altered its distribution in the county. Records are now very rare in VC63 whereas it has spread in other areas as far north as Teesside - the most northerly site in the country. Numbers in VC61 have increased considerably and since 2006 it has appeared at three sites in the Ripon area. In the last two years numbers of records have shot up to 15 in 2010 and 29 in 2011.

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