Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Uncommon and fairly widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: Two generations, Apr-May, Jul-Aug.

Forewing: 17-23mm.

Foodplant: Broadleaved trees. Hazel, birches etc.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded19851970194019691979
Year last recorded20142014201420152015
Number of records348308335421103
Number of individuals404385445694148
Unique positions60769810431
Unique locations58799510329
Adult records348301328406100
Immature records01100

For the county, we have a total of 1515 records from 364 sites. First recorded in 1940.


70.239 Purple Thorn 03
© Paul Kipling, 30 Aug 2009
70.239 Purple Thorn 02
© Charles Fletcher, 16 May 2001
70.239 Purple Thorn 01
© Dave Williamson

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: There are odd records in the County going back several years but this species was not definitely admitted to the County list until fairly recently, as it is easily confused with the dark form of S. lunularia (Hubner) which occurs in Yorkshire.

Beaumont, 2002: Now recorded widely and commonly, especially in the south.

2012 (CHF): This species has continued to do well and can now be found in good numbers all across the county.

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