Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Fairly common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Aug.

Forewing: 17-20mm.

Foodplant: Poplars, Aspen and willows.

IMPORTANT - Please note that the maps and accounts are provisional, subject to change and further update.  The whole dataset still needs to go through the final verification process and it is likely that a very small number of records will not satisfy the present requirements and there are other records that have not been formally submitted.  The information is for guidance only.

Record breakdown:

Year first recorded1905200719831905
Year last recorded2011200820112011
Number of records6732611472
Number of individuals8563901898
Unique positions181216398
Unique locations149114328
Adult records5842591290
Immature records0000

For the region, we have a total of 1472 records from 328 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2278 Poplar Grey 04
© Julian Francis
2278 Poplar Grey 03
© Julian Francis
2278 Poplar Grey 02
© Gillian Nash, June 2016
2278 Poplar Grey 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in England and Wales, most common in south-east England and rare in Scotland, the larva feeding on poplar (Populus spp.), willow and sallow (Salix spp.). In Dorset, the moth is frequent wherever aspen (Populus tremula) is well established. It is at low density, rising to frequent locally, where poplars and willows grow in river valleys. There are few records from sallow-rich poplar-free sandy soil localities, for example in twenty-five years of trapping no moths were recorded from Arne. Although the moth is single brooded in the UK in May and June, there seems to be two brood cycles in play in Dorset. The first emergence is in May with a partial second brood from late August in warm summers: West Bexington, on 2 September 2003 (R Eden), Puddletown, on 24 September 1999 (H Wood Homer). A much larger single brood occurs in mid-summer.

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