Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nb

Local Status: Rare and very local migrant/wanderer.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

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

Forewing: 16-20mm.

Foodplant: Common Reed.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded1970
Year last recorded2008
Number of records16
Number of individuals16
Unique positions5
Unique locations5
Adult records16
Immature records0

For the county, we have a total of 16 records from 5 sites. First recorded in 1970.


73.035 Reed Dagger 04
© Damian Money
73.035 Reed Dagger 03
© Barry Spence, 29 Jul 2006
73.035 Reed Dagger 02
© Damian Money
73.035 Reed Dagger 01
© Damian Money

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: This species was first taken in Yorkshire on 3.8.1970 by B.R. Spence at Spurn (VC61). Two more were recorded the same year (on 10.8.1970), one on 18.8.1973 and one on 6.8.1975. There were then no further specimens until singles were caught on 1.8 and 3.8.1982 (all by BRS). The 1970s records were all made adjacent to the small reed-bed on the seaward side of the bird observatory. By the early 1980s this had been overwhelmed by the sea and it was assumed the colony, which the reed-bed was thought to house, had been destroyed. The subsequent records may indicate a population in reed-beds further to the north. However since there have been no further records its status is rather uncertain. If there is a resident population in Yorkshire, it is by far the most northerly colony in Britain, the nearest known to the south being in the Norfolk reed-beds.

Beaumont, 2002: The comment that a colony formerly existed in a small reed-bed at Spurn is considered erroneous (Spence, 1991 and pers comm.). All records are now thought to have been of immigrants.
VC61. Spurn, 3.8.1995, 19.7.1996 (BRS).

2012 (CHF): There have been several more records from Spurn, with four in 2003 and single moths noted in 2004, 2006 & 2008. There have been no records further north and it is not obvious where these moths originate from. The nearest permanent colonies are in north Norfolk.

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