Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Fairly common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Two (three) generations, May-Oct.

Forewing: 14-22mm.

Foodplant: Brassicas, Cabbages 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 recorded195519701955
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records16911343650
Number of individuals21221584560
Unique positions14712318
Unique locations12312270
Adult records14601333186
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 3650 records from 270 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.


2154 Cabbage Moth 05 (showing curved spine on tibia)
© Julian Francis
2154 Cabbage Moth 04
© Julian Francis
2154 Cabbage Moth 03 showing curved spine on tibia
© Julian Francis
2154 Cabbage Moth 02
© Julian Francis, 25 Jun 2016
2154 Cabbage Moth 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A species found throughout south-east England, becoming scarcer the further north and west one travels, the polyphagous larva feeding nocturnally and a noted pest species of cabbage crops (Brassicae spp.). In Dorset, the moth was: "a serious agricultural pest in gardens, market gardens and fields, and does at times serious damage to food for man and cattle - no cultivated land in the county where it cannot be found." (W Parkinson Curtis ms). Today this is certainly not true, and the species has undergone a dramatic decline, perhaps due to the widespread application of toxins on vegetable crops. It is best described as widespread but at low density, rising to frequent along the Purbeck coast and Portland where cabbage (Brassica oleracea) grows naturally on chalky cliffs and undercliffs. The species apparently overwinters either as a larva or as a pupa, the former producing broods from mid-June to early July and a main brood from mid-August to mid-September, and the latter producing moths between late May and mid-June, with a main generation between mid-July and mid-August. A bilateral gynandromorph was trapped at Hurn on 17 September 2003 (M Jeffes).

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