Season (Adult / Immature):
National Status: Nationally Scarce B
Local Status: Scarce and thinly distributed or restricted resident.
Local Record: Grade 3 See here for explanation
Flight time: May-Aug.
Foodplant: Fungus on dead Birch and burnt gorse.
|Year first recorded||1931||1998||1931|
|Year last recorded||2010||2008||2010|
|Number of records||46||6||104|
|Number of individuals||54||6||120|
For the region, we have a total of 104 records from 60 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1931.
For further information refer UK Moths.
Davey, P., 2009: A very local species confined to a handful of counties in southern England and a single site in Shropshire, the larva feeding on the fungus Daldinia concentrica (King Alfred’s Cakes) growing on birch (Betula spp.) and on gorse (Ulex spp.). In Dorset, the moth is a very local resident of gorse-clad heathland and downland, particularly burnt gorse where the fungus exploits the dying host. The following mainly light trap records refer: South Haven, and Haymoor Bottom (W Parkinson Curtis), Stoborough Heath, a few larval feedings in Daldinia concentrica on burnt gorse on 7 April 1995 (Dr P Sterling), West Hill, two on 23 June 1998, and Canford Heath, on 20 July 1998 (P Davey), Woolgarston, on 25 and 30 June 1995, 5 July 1995, Studland, on 19 May 1999 (S Clancy), Holt Heath, on 28 July 2002 (J Chainey), on 20 July 2004, 14 June 2007 (P Davey), Ferndown, on 22 June 1992 (R Cook), Hurn, on 2 June 1998, 8 July 1999, 3 July 2006, 12 July 2007 (M Jeffes), Hengistbury Head, on 4 June 2002 (M Jeffes).
Although Daldinia concentrica also grows on beech (Fagus sylvatica) and on ash (Fraxinus excelsior), there is no evidence to suggest that the moth colonises woodland. However, the species appears to be rather dispersive and many observations are made some distance from suitable habitat, suggesting short to medium range dispersal. The following light trap records refer: Warre Wood, on 14 August 2004 (Dr P Sterling), Wyke Regis, on 13 June 2006, Upwey, on 17 August 2003 (P Harris), Weymouth, on 5 September 2006, Portland, on 18 June 2000 (M Cade), Lorton Barn, 24 and 29 June 2005 (Dr P Sterling), Dorchester, on 10 August 2004 (J Down), Puddletown, on 17 June 1999, 24 July 2000, 12 August 2003, 11 and 16 August 2004, 10 September 2004, 21 and 26 June 2005, 14 and 21 July 2005, 10 June 2006, 29 June 2007 (H Wood Homer), Trigon Ford, on 17 August 1996 (C Manley), Gaunts Common, on 19 August 1997, and Shapwick, on 25 August 2003 (P Davey), Durlston, on 2 August 2004 (P Davey), Old Harry, on 10 May 2000 (C Manley).
It is recommended that conservation agencies who maintain heathland reserves include this species within their management plans.