Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Migrant

Local Status: Fairly common migrant, probable occasional resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Recorded all months (most Aug-Oct).

Forewing: 18-21mm.

Foodplant: Grasses.

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 recorded189119931891
Year last recorded201120082011
Number of records829231704
Number of individuals2310254670
Unique positions799176
Unique locations637140
Adult records827231700
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 1704 records from 140 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1891.


2203 White-speck 03
© Will Bown
2203 White-speck 02
© Debra Saunders
2203 White-speck 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: An immigrant species observed most often in the southern-most counties of England and Wales, extending inland to central England and very occasionally on the west coast of Scotland, the larva feeding on various grass species. In Dorset, the moth was first recorded at Church Knowle by Reverend E Bankes on 12 October 1891. More recently, it has appeared in almost every season in the past twenty-seven years, and over that time it has been recorded in each month of the year. Annual frequency has varied from occasional to common with the highest numbers in coastal areas, but also occasional records from localities well inland. Records suggest that many White-specks are primary immigrants from abroad. The largest single peaks in 1977, 1989, 1990, 2000 and spectacularly in 2003 occurred on dates when the airflow was direct from Iberia and beyond. It may also be a transitory resident in favourable seasons on coastal grassland, for example between early September and early December at West Bexington in 2000, the moth was trapped on more than fifty per cent of the nights at a rate of two per night, suggesting a transient resident population that year.

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