Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: May-Jun, Aug-Oct.

Forewing: 16-21mm.

Foodplant: Herbaceous plant roots. Turnip, Carrot, Beet etc.

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 recorded190519701905
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records23311915044
Number of individuals549029711574
Unique positions16821378
Unique locations13519308
Adult records20271894432
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 5044 records from 308 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2087 Turnip Moth 04
© Julian Francis
2087 Turnip Moth 03
© Gillian Nash, August 2015
2087 Turnip Moth 02
© Jack Oughton
2087 Turnip Moth 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species throughout Britain, commonest in the south-east and scarcest in the north-west, the larva leads a subterranean existence feeding on the roots of a wide range of vegetable species and herbaceous plants. Larvae are often reported as serious pests abroad in roots of different vegetables. In Dorset, the moth is ubiquitous and common, and has been trapped in every month except January. The peak of the autumn brood is, on average, approximately five times larger than that of the summer brood. The national norm is for a partial second brood only. Undoubtedly, indigenous populations are reinforced by immigration, and it is noticeable that peak numbers of Turnip moths recorded from light traps operated on the coast coincide with immigration events, particularly during the autumn. The mini-peak in February on the phenology chart picks out the influx of this species during the remarkable winter immigration of 2004. The steady increase in numbers through the year is reminiscent of other common immigrant species, for example Dark Sword-grass2091 and Pearly Underwing2119.

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