Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Scarce and thinly distributed or restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Aug-Oct.

Forewing: 15-18mm.

Foodplant: Wych Elm.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded18831900184218831883
Year last recorded20142014201420142014
Number of records76606519993
Number of individuals535552344109
Unique positions3420376411
Unique locations3820386611
Adult records65535218091
Immature records13010

For the county, we have a total of 493 records from 173 sites. First recorded in 1842.


73.183 Dusky-lemon Sallow 02
© Charles Fletcher, 27 Sep 2005
73.183 Dusky-lemon Sallow 01
© Dave Williamson

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Found locally in all five vice-counties. This species is said to be dependent on wych elm, which has suffered severely from Dutch elm disease in many parts of Yorkshire. Correspondingly the moth has become very rare in some areas, for example at Wass, VC62 (AMRH pers. comm.). However in other places, such as Muston, VC61 (PQW pers. comm.), the moth seems to be surviving despite the reduction in elms and it may have an alternative food plant in these areas, although none has been recorded.

Beaumont, 2002: There has been some recovery since populations of this moth were reduced following the incidence of Dutch elm disease but it remains scarce in some areas and has not been recorded at Grosmont (VC62) since the early 1980s (WN).

2012 (CHF): British Moths and Their Transformations by Humphreys and Westwood in 1843 announced the addition of this moth to the British list in 1843 as follows: "The true gilvago is now for the first time introduced into the British lists, on the authority of J. F. Stephens, Esq., who has received it from the neighbourhood of Doncaster, where it was captured last September in some plenty by the Rev. Mr. Preston," though Stainton in Entomologists Annual 1857 adds ... or, more correctly, by his friend, Mr. Hugh Reid, and Porritt in 1883 also credits Reid with the first capture. It must have still been local in Porritt's time and has probably never been common in the county. Numbers declined considerably in the 1990s but there have been signs of a recovery more recently, particularly in VC63 and 64 and there was a big increase to 32 records across all five vice-counties in 2011. It remains to be seen whether this was a response to favourable autumn weather conditions or whether it was a real increase.

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