Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: RDB1

Local Status: Rare and restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: Oct.

Forewing: 14-15mm.

Foodplant: Lesser Pond-sedge.

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 recorded19961996
Year last recorded20112011
Number of records2958
Number of individuals167334
Unique positions714
Unique locations714
Adult records2550
Immature records48

For the region, we have a total of 58 records from 14 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1996.


2376 Blair's Waincsot 04
© Julian Francis
2376 Blair's Wainscot 03
© Keith Tailby
2376 Blair's Wainscot 02
© Chris Manley, 9 Oct 2003
2376 Blair's Wainscot 01
© Dave Foot

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: This species was discovered by Dr K Blair in marsh habitat on the Isle of Wight in 1945. In 1952, the habitat was drained and the surface burned, and the species became extinct in Britain, the larva feeds on lesser pond-sedge (Carex acutiformis). On 8 October 1996, S Hales, D Hallett and Ms M Spencer trapped two Wainscot moths that were new to them near sedge beds in southern Dorset. These were subsequently identified as Blair's Wainscots. Many larvae were located feeding inside the stems of lesser pond-sedge at the site and in more extensive sedge beds one kilometer away the following summer. In the autumn of that year, two further sites were found to contain the species in two widely separated localities, one close to the upper reaches of the River Frome, the other in old decoy ponds north of the River Piddle near Wareham. In 1998, two more discrete sites were discovered on the Bere Stream and on the River Frome. The species is evidently well established in fen habitat in suitable places along the Frome and Piddle river systems. A continuation of the sympathetic management of Carex acutiformis beds on nature reserves within these catchment areas could be beneficial to maintaining this species, such as rotational cutting of the sedge. Excessive grazing levels, burning and draining would evidently place existing colonies at risk.

The moth is evidently dispersive; the following light trap records refer: Chedington Wood, female at 10:30pm on 28 October 2006 (P Davey), Ringstead, on 14 October 2007 (R Bell), Puddletown, on 28 September 2004 (H Wood Homer). Given this dispersive tendency, it may be that this species is a relative newcomer to the county, indeed, the colonies near Bere Regis are situated close to where H Andrewes ran his light traps for many years in the early part of the last century, and yet he never saw the moth, a parallel perhaps to the recent arrival and rapid colonisation of heathland by Southern Chestnut2264.1. So far, no other UK county has recorded this species in recent years.

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