Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Very common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Mid Jun-mid Sep.

Forewing: 13-20mm.

Foodplant: Nettles.

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 recorded187719911877
Year last recorded201020102010
Number of records7933472280
Number of individuals24966566304
Unique positions29336658
Unique locations22829514
Adult records7633412208
Immature records306

For the region, we have a total of 2280 records from 514 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1877.


1405 Mother of Pearl 04
© Julian Francis
1405 Mother of Pearl 03
© Julian Francis, 13 Oct 18
1405 Mother of Pearl 02
© Julian Francis
1405 Pleuroptya ruralis 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in Britain, the larva feeding on nettle (Urtica dioica). In Dorset, the moth is widespread and locally common, but at low density in open heathland across the Poole Basin where nettle is scarce. The national norm is for a single brood in July and August, and this holds true for Dorset, but the following records suggest an occasional second brood (there are two generations abroad): Walditch, at MV light on 10 October 2002 (M Parsons); Hooke Park, at MV light on 18 May 1997, 7 June 1998 (M Spencer et al), Wool, at MV light on 29 September 2002 (D Cooper), Shaggs, at MV light on 6 June 2002 (Butterfly Conservation).

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