Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Uncommon and thinly distributed resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Oct-Jan.

Forewing: 18-25mm.

Foodplant: Broadleaved trees.

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 recorded195519821955
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records42849954
Number of individuals1366572846
Unique positions735156
Unique locations625134
Adult records41249922
Immature records5010

For the region, we have a total of 954 records from 134 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.


1935 Mottled Umber 06
© Julian Francis
1935 Mottled Umber 05
© Julian Francis
1935 Mottled Umber 04
© Gillian Nash, January 2019
1935 Mottled Umber 03
© Will Bown
1935 Mottled Umber 02
© Will Bown
1935 Mottled Umber 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A common species in southern Britain, less so further north, the larva feeding on a variety of deciduous tree and shrub species. The female is wingless. In Dorset, this highly variable moth is widespread and common, particularly so in deciduous woodland. It has not been noted as a pest species recently, but in the middle of the last century the moth was said to have been "often destructively abundant, not only in the woods, but on occasion in town gardens" (W Parkinson Curtis ms). The much larger quantity of old oak and birch woodland across the region probably provided ideal conditions for the large populations reported at the time.

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