Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Migrant

Local Status: Scarce and local migrant/wanderer.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: Recorded all year, mainly Jun-Oct.

Forewing: 13-14mm.

Foodplant: Dandelion, Groundsel, docks, Common Restharrow.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded1969190319592000
Year last recorded2014201420112011
Number of records9515193
Number of individuals8020213
Unique positions2011142
Unique locations2111142
Adult records9514193
Immature records0000

For the county, we have a total of 132 records from 48 sites. First recorded in 1903.


73.087 Small Mottled Willow 03
© Dave Shenton
73.087 Small Mottled Willow 01
© Jim Morgan, 13 Aug 2006
73.087 Small Mottled Willow 02
© Jim Morgan

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: A migrant to Britain, this moth has an almost worldwide range. There have been a few recent Yorkshire records.

Beaumont, 2002:
VC61. Spurn, 1.9.1995, four 11-18.8.1996 (BRS); Muston, 26.6.1996 (Frost & Winter, 1997).
VC63. West Melton, 16.8.2000 (HEB).
VC65. Hutton Conyers, 16.6.2000 conf. A.M. Riley (CHF).

Argus 52, 2006: A huge influx with 69 records spread across all five VCs between 13 June and 11 October. Too many to list individually but most records were coastal with the majority in the Spurn area. Other moth spread inland as far west as Malham Tarn.

2012 (CHF): An irregular migrant which does not turn up every year. The 2006 influx was quite unprecedented and coincided with similar influxes of other migrant species. The first Yorkshire records as noted by Porritt were in 1903 "This grand addition to our list was made by Mr Thomas Fieldhouse, who took no less than eight specimens near Keighley on the ninth of September 1903." There were several more recorded at the same time from other parts of the country, sounding rather like the situation in 2006! This species is quite distinctive with narrow forewings tucked around the body and a pinkish or orange colouration in the reniform and orbicular stigmata.

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