Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Scarce and thinly distributed or restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Apr-May.

Forewing: 19-24mm.

Foodplant: Mullians, figworts and buddleias

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 recorded193919881939
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records32011662
Number of individuals45313932
Unique positions823170
Unique locations684144
Adult records28010580
Immature records17136

For the region, we have a total of 662 records from 144 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1939.


2221 Mullein 11
© Will Bown
2221 Mullein 10
© Julian Francis
2221 Mullein 09
© Julian Francis
2221 Mullein 07
© Julian Francis
2221 Mullein 08
© Julian Francis
2221 Mullein 12
© Julian Francis
2221 Mullein 06
© Gillian Nash
2221 Mullein 05 larva
© Jack Oughton
2221 Mullein 04
© Will Bown
2221 Mullein 02
© Mike Hetherington, 21 May 2012
2221 Mullein 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in southern Britain, the larva feeding on figwort (Scrophularia spp.), mullein (Verbascum spp.) and buddleia (Buddleia spp.). Although the moth is an infrequent visitor to light traps in Dorset, it is locally common on chalky soils where the highly visible larvae may be seen scything their way through the thick leaves of great mullein (Verascum thapsus). Occasionally, caterpillars are found on buddleia and, apart from Reverend E Bankes observation from Durlston in the previous account, there is just one other (old) record from Charmouth of larvae feeding on water figwort (Scrophularia aquatica). There are no records from sandy soils. The late dates below are of interest as both the Striped Lychnis2219 and the Water Betony2220 fly slightly later than this species; all three species are very difficult to tell apart. The first example was trapped in a very late season following the severe winter of 1962/1963: Iwerne Minster, on 1 July 1963 (H Moore), West Bexington, on 19 June 1995, 18 June 1996, 4 July 2001(R Eden).

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