Species Account background

Local status


Micro-moths Macro-moths
Abundance Records Abundance Records
Abundant 5000+ Abundant 10000+
Very common 1500-4999 Very common 5000-9999
Common 750-1499 Common 3000-4999
Fairly common 400-749 Fairly common 2000-2999
Uncommon 150-399 Uncommon 750-1999
Scarce 50-149 Scarce 100-749
Rare 5 to 49 Rare 10 to 99
Very rare 1 to 4 Very rare 1 to 9

Micro-moths Macro-moths
Distribution Tetrads Distribution Tetrads
Widespread 300+ Widespread 400+
Fairly widespread 100-299 Fairly widespread 200-399
Thinly distributed or restricted 40-99 Thinly distributed or restricted 100-199
Local 10-39 Local 25-99
Very local 1-9 Very local 1-24

Micro-moths are vastly under-recorded and many of the maps and local status do not represent the probable abundance or distribution of some species.  Where this is obvious, a judgement has been made and the status changed to provide a more accurate impression than the number of records alone suggest.  Many of the moths are rarely recorded or identified as adults, but are recorded from leaf-mines or larval cases only. With the publication of the Field Guide to the Micro-moths of Great Britain and Ireland by Sterling, Parsons and Lewington there has been a change in the interest level in recording such moths, but the difficulty of identification of some should not be underestimated.


Records are of adults, larva and leaf-mines mapped to tetrad level.  By clicking on a dot, the records for that tetrad are displayed in a table below. The are a lot of older records which are entered as 10km square references only, and appear as large semi-opaque green squares, and clicking in the centre of these squares displays the record mapped at 10km square resolution

If more than one trapping method has been used, this displays as two or more records, and is not a duplicate.

Some distributions, particularly of those moths usually located by leaf mines or larval cases, are more a reflection of observer activity rather than actual distribution of the species.


Clicking on a site name will open up a map of the location with a square containing the site.  The size of the square depends on the accuracy of the OS reference added, and the red marker will appear in the bottom left corner of that square.  To look up the location of place names and sites you can also use the locate function.


The graphs are produced from the records of adults with full dates listed and a quantity in the database.  Those with vague dates are excluded, such as some of the older records with just a year recorded, those logged as present rather than a count, as are all records of larvae or leaf-mines.  With some winter species, the charts will also reflect lack of trapping during the coldest months.

Species Summary

In addition to the national and local status, there is the local record grade which indicates the abundance and identification difficulty of the adults.  Where a species is annotated as 'restricted' this indicates that the range within the county is restricted by habitat (i.e. sandy heath) or by a food-plant that is spread thinly over the county (i.e. bulrush). Many of the smaller species are difficult to identify as adults, but are easier to identify, with care, by the leaf-mine and foodplant; these would have two grades in the local record box.  Wing length rather than wingspan is shown, as span is perhaps more appropriate for set specimens.  The flight period reflects the range of the Dorset records, but for some species with just the odd record this does not reflect the true flight period.  Foodplants are gleaned from numerous sources, and in most cases refer to the plants on which eggs are laid and the larva feed.

Species Account

Currently only the macro-moths have accounts, and these are those of Peter Davey published in January 2009 on the original Dorset Moths website.  It is planned to add subsequent comments when significant changes to occurence, distribution or flight time.  It is hoped that accounts for the micro-moths will be added in due course.  Records are listed when new County or VC records.  Updated and modern status updates will be clearly annotated with authors initials and year of addition.