Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: RDB3

Local Status: Rare and very local coastal resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: Two generations, Jul-Aug, and Sep-Oct, hibernating to Spring.

Forewing: 13-17mm.

Foodplant: Pellitory.

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 recorded19651965
Year last recorded20112011
Number of records3468
Number of individuals55110
Unique positions2142
Unique locations1836
Adult records3162
Immature records36

For the region, we have a total of 68 records from 36 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1965.


2478 Bloxworth Snout 05
© Paul Harris
2478 Bloxworth Snout 03 larva
© Jack Oughton
2478 Bloxworth Snout 02
© Jack Oughton
2478 Bloxworth Snout 01
© Jack Oughton

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: An immigrant species to the south coast of England and resident on the Channel Islands since 1960, the larva feeding on pellitory-of-the-wall (Parietaria judaica). The first British record of this species was from Dorset: Bloxworth, on an outhouse door of the rectory on 21 September 1884 (O Pickard Cambridge). In Dorset, prior to 1996, the moth had been seen on just four occasions, and, apart from the Bloxworth locality, all from the coast. The second record was reported by Dr F H Haines in 1917, but the moth in question eluded capture. The locality at Iford on the River Stour has a strong colony of Buttoned Snout2480 moths among the hop growing there and this old record may well refer to this latter species. Two more recent examples are from: Brownsea Island, at MV light on 13 October 1965 (A Bromby), and at Highcliffe, at MV light on 8 September 1982 (E Wild). The dates of the three evidenced moths coincided with light south-easterly airflows and transportation from France is likely for each one.

From 1996, the moth began to turn up with increasing frequency on Portland in parallel with increased sightings in other southern coastal counties, and colonisation of the island seemed inevitable. Larvae were then found on the north of the island confirming residency in the county: Boscawan, five larvae on pellitory in shade on 13 June 2004 (Dr P Sterling). All other Portland records (mainly at light traps) follow: Southwell, at tilley on 5 August 2000 (Dr P Sterling, M Parsons), Portland on 7 December 1996, 15 October 1998, 21 September 1999, 26 October 1999, 14 June 2001, inside building on 15 March 2002, 9 August 2003, 15 September 2006 (M Cade), Freshwater Bay, nine larvae disturbed from pellitory amongst crevices by day on 9 July 2005 (M Parsons), Fortuneswell, on 5 October 2005 (E Cockburn), Easton, on 5 September 2003 (R Lambert), Grove, on 28 July 1998, 11 August 1999 (D Walbridge).

The species is double-brooded with the first generation on the wing in late July and August. A second generation appears in late September and October and then hibernates, often in caves, out-houses and inside buildings before re- appearing during the spring. If the present warming trend continues, there is every chance that the species will manage to colonise other rocky coast localities in due course. Although pellitory-of-the-wall is a local plant, it is well established among rocks on Purbeck and on Portland, and the coastal caves in both regions would provide ideal situations for hibernating adults. Recent records from Lulworth and Durlston suggest that expansion continues unabated and these localities may now host the species: Shaggs, on 1 February 2007, 28 and 29 (different moth) August 2008 (L Hill), Durlston, netted in torchlight on 9 September 2005 (Dr J Clarke), on ivy blossom on 31 October 2007 (L Hill, S Clancy). In the absence of the pellitory, dispersal or immigration possibly accounts for the following records: West Bexington, on 4 September 2003, 28 October 2007, 14 September 2008 (R Eden).

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