Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Abundant and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Jul.

Forewing: M 11-16mm. F 15-20mm.

Foodplant: Grasses, Herbaceous plants.

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 recorded195519731955
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records17501703840
Number of individuals455271810540
Unique positions25416540
Unique locations19917432
Adult records14791703298
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 3840 records from 432 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.


0017 Common Swift 03
© Julian Francis
0017 Common Swift 02 male
© Dave Foot
0017 Common Swift 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A species with a wide distribution in the British Isles, the larva feeding on the roots of various wild and cultivated species of grasses and plants. In Dorset, the moth is abundant on unimproved grassland, rare on heathland, and moderately common elsewhere. The moth formerly, "on occasions, rose to the position of a minor agricultural pest on tuberous rooted plants with corms of the Gladiolus type" (per W Parkinson Curtis manuscript).

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