Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and fairly widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Two generations, May-Jul, Aug-Oct.

Forewing: 12-15mm.

Foodplant: Grass seeds.

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 recorded190519831905
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records2651885478
Number of individuals36731487642
Unique positions15910338
Unique locations13010280
Adult records2343874860
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 5478 records from 280 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2389 Pale Mottled Willow 03
© Julian Francis
2389 Pale Mottled Willow 02 and Clancy's Rustic (right)
© Martin Cade, 9 Sep 2005
2389 Pale Mottled Willow 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: An unimproved grassland and unimproved arable species in Britain, the larva feeding on the seeds of grasses (Poaceae spp.) and the seeds of cereal crops such as wheat, rye, oats and barley. In Dorset, the moth is widespread and frequent, and has been trapped in every month except December and January. It is locally common in unimproved grassland and most often recorded in coastal areas. The species was undoubtedly abundant on arable in the days before toxins were applied to every last square metre of crop, for example, the caterpillar was found in large numbers on Purbeck by beating haystacks. The national norm is of a bivoltine cycle, but in Dorset the picture is not nearly as clear-cut with a pattern reminiscent of immigrant species such as the Turnip2087 where populations increase through the year, being supplemented by immigration from Europe.

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