Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nb

Local Status: Scarce and thinly distributed resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: May-Jun.

Forewing: 15-18mm.

Foodplant: Wild thyme.

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 recorded190520001905
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records1512306
Number of individuals149522994
Unique positions522108
Unique locations43290
Adult records1442292
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 306 records from 90 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2084 Light Feathered Rustic 02
© Will Bown
2084 Light Feathered Rustic 01
© Dave Foot

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species restricted to southern Britain and found most frequently in south-east England, the larva feeding on wild thyme (Thymus polytrichus). In Dorset, the moth is common very locally in unimproved short-turf grassland habitat on chalky soil inland, along the Purbeck coast and on Portland. Colonies have declined since the Second World War due to the loss of unimproved short-turf calcareous grassland following changes in farming methods plus the crash in rabbit numbers from the 1950s due to myxomatosis and consequent reduction in close-cropping. It is recommended that this species be included in habitat management plans for unimproved grassland sites on chalky soil.

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