Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 18-25mm.

Foodplant: Blackthorn, Hawthorns, Privet, Red and Black Currant.

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 recorded190519701905
Year last recorded201120072011
Number of records2755642819
Number of individuals5978946072
Unique positions2396245
Unique locations1857192
Adult records2339642403
Immature records404

For the region, we have a total of 2819 records from 192 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1884 Magpie Moth 05
© Julian Francis
1884 Magpie Moth 04 pupa
© Jack Oughton
1884 Magpie Moth 03 larva
© Jack Oughton
1884 Magpie Moth 02
© Dave Foot
1884 Magpie Moth 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in Britain, the larva feeding on red currant (Ribes rubrum), black currant (Ribes nigrum), gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa), spindle (Eunonymus europaeus), and other deciduous shrubs and trees. In Dorset, this highly distinctive moth is common to abundant amongst blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) thickets in coastal districts and frequent to common amongst blackthorn and spindle scrub on chalky soils. Larvae also feed on evergreen spindle (Euonymus japonicus) planted in hedges and within shelter belts near the sea; coastal populations are probably augmented by this additional food source. Elsewhere, larvae have been found on hawthorn and on fruit trees and shrubs in gardens and allotments, but not in sufficient numbers so that it constitutes a pest.

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