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, Mar-Apr.

Forewing: 15-17mm.

Foodplant: Aspen, poplars

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded19041883188318831883
Year last recorded20142014201420142015
Number of records8866421359
Number of individuals9760751466
Unique positions241722395
Unique locations261622375
Adult records8666411279
Immature records00000

For the county, we have a total of 340 records from 106 sites. First recorded in 1883.


73.246 Lead-coloured Drab 05 antennae
© Charles Fletcher, 25 Mar 2011
73.246 Lead-coloured Drab 04
© Charles Fletcher, 1 Apr 2011
73.246 Lead-coloured Drab 03 with Clouded Drab
© Charles Fletcher, 1 Apr 2011
73.246 Lead-coloured Drab 02
© Terry Box, 30 Mar 2012
73.246 Lead-coloured Drab 01
© Terry Box, 21 Mar 2011

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: A species which has increased in range and frequency quite considerably since 1970 but is still rather local and only taken in small numbers.

2012 (CHF): Local in the county but more widespread than Northern Drab. The feathery antennae of the males are usually quite characteristic and this species is less variable than some of the other Orthosia species particularly Clouded Drab with which it is often confused. Small numbers can be found in areas with aspen or poplars. 33 records in 2011 was a big increase on the usual numbers.

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