Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nb

Local Status: Uncommon and restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: Two generations, Mar-Apr, and mainly Jun-Sep.

Forewing: 13-15mm.

Foodplant: Heather and Cross-leaved Heath.

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 recorded197019861970
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records16171273488
Number of individuals798189217746
Unique positions19120422
Unique locations10915248
Adult records15851223414
Immature records2310

For the region, we have a total of 3488 records from 248 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1970.


1905 Horse Chestnut 03
© Julian Francis
1905 Horse Chestnut 02 larva
© Jack Oughton
1905 Horse Chestnut 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species restricted to the lowland heaths of southern England, the larva feeding on heather (Erica spp.). In Dorset, the moth is common to abundant on heathland. The moth has been observed in every month except December. The species appears to be double brooded, the first brood flying from mid-March to late April, with a second in July and August; the second brood is appreciably larger in number than the first. A significant number of moths are also on the wing during September right through to mid-October, and these may constitute a partial third brood. Occasionally, the Horse Chestnut is trapped at light well away from heather terrain, and these are likely to refer to dispersed individuals from the Poole Basin: Walditch on 21 July 2003 (M Parsons), Portland, on 18 October 1997, 25 July 1999 (M Cade), St Albans Head, on 11 August 1986, 7 August 1992 (P Davey). The recommendation for conservation agencies that manage heathland sites is to include this species in management plans and maintain a vibrant mosaic of different-aged heather communities on dry heathland blocks for it.

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