Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Scarce and restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Jul.

Forewing: 9-11mm.

Foodplant: Common and Heath Milkwort.

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 recorded197019871970
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records2259468
Number of individuals3759768
Unique positions1355280
Unique locations886188
Adult records2029422
Immature records102

For the region, we have a total of 468 records from 188 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1970.


2470 Small Purple-barred 03
© Martin Wood
2470 Small Purple-barred 02 ab. fusca
© Paul Harris
2470 Small Purple-barred 01
© Chris Manley, 9 Aug 2003

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in south-east England, more local elsewhere, the larva feeding on the flowers of common milkwort (Polygala vulgaris) and possibly lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica). In Dorset, the moth occupies three biotypes. It is locally abundant on dry unimproved short-turf grassland on chalky soil - in these situations the foodplants are common milkwort and chalk milkwort (Polygala calcarea). It is locally frequent on sandy soil where heath milkwort (Polygala serpyllifolia) grows in woodland rides, plantations or among heather. The third habitat is found at Powerstock Common, where milkwort occurs on the grassy embankments of an old railway line cut into clay soil. The moth is double brooded in the county, with the peak of the second brood more than three times larger on average, than the peak of the first. It is active during the day, particularly in sunshine and is easily disturbed from its resting-place on the ground. It also flies at night and in fact more than half of the county's records originate from light traps. On these occasions it is often noted some distance away from core habitat.

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