Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nb

Local Status: Rare and restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: May-Jun.

Forewing: 16-19mm

Foodplant: Seedlings of Downy and Silver Birch and also on Bog-myrtle.

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 recorded19051905
Year last recorded20022002
Number of records55110
Number of individuals120240
Unique positions1632
Unique locations24
Adult records50100
Immature records48

For the region, we have a total of 110 records from 4 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1787 Argent and Sable 01
© Paul Harris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local day-flying species in Britain, the larva feeding on birch (Betula spp.) in England and bog myrtle (Myrica gale) in Scotland. In Dorset, this fine moth was, until recently, confined to Stubhampton Bottom, a wooded calcareous valley where reasonable numbers of mature birch grow amidst plantation fir and spruce. Butterfly Conservation in partnership with the Forestry Commission and the land owner, removed several acres of woodland within the heart of the Argent and Sable colony in 1996 to create an open south-west facing downland habitat for butterflies; unfortunately the moth has not been observed at the site since, despite targeted searches for it. The species used to be recorded from birch-rich habitat to the south and east of Bere Regis, to the south of Puddletown, and in the far north-east of the county, but much of the birch was felled to make way for conifer plantation during the 1960s: Snipe Moor, by day on 11 June 1949 (A Lisney), Tout Hill, by day on 31 May 1937 (H Andrewes), Bere Wood, by day on 28 May 1966 (H Moore), Farnham, two by day on 21 May 1930, 22 May 1930, two on 23 May 1930, 27 May 1930, 6 June 1930 (H Andrewes). It is recommended that searches continue for this moth at Stubhampton Bottom.

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