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: One or two generations, May-Sep.

Forewing: 15-17mm.

Foodplant: Common Nettle.

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 recorded1905200719851905
Year last recorded2011200720112011
Number of records440712854693
Number of individuals636824196789
Unique positions330119350
Unique locations251116268
Adult records373212844017
Immature records0000

For the region, we have a total of 4693 records from 268 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2450 Spectacle 03
© Gillian Nash, 18 May 2019
2450 Spectacle 05 head view
© Martin Wood
2450 Spectacle 04
© Martin Wood
2450 Spectacle 02
© Tom Morris
2450 Spectacle 01
© Will Bown 18 June 2012

Species Account

Similar species: 2449 Abrostola triplasia (Dark Spectacle).

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 frequent, but common in areas where improved farmland provides nitrogen-rich soils where nettle plants flourish. The national norm is for a single brood in the north of Britain from late June until mid-July, and a double brood in the south from late May to June and again in August and September. However in Dorset, a univoltine cycle plus a bivoltine cycle is suspected, with a single brood from early June to mid-July, and a double brood from late April to mid-June, and again from August into September.

This species resembles the Dark Spectacle2449. Diagnostics include: basal and tournal areas whitish-grey not ochreous-brown. If this wasn't enough, confusion has also centred on the Spectacle being assigned the latin name Abrostola triplasia in the past, the present name of the Dark Spectacle2449.

Hill, L., 2013:

In Spectacle, the orbicular and subreniform stigma are fused together, in Dark Spectacle, they appear separated.

Last updated: 14 June 2013


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