Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Migrant

Local Status: Common and fairly widespread migrant/wanderer.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: Jul-Oct, (recorded all months)

Forewing: 15-25mm.

Foodplant: Herbaceous plants.

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 recorded1905200819701905
Year last recorded2011200820112011
Number of records382812218100
Number of individuals18650156938440
Unique positions276123600
Unique locations210122466
Adult records377112217986
Immature records0000

For the region, we have a total of 8100 records from 466 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2091 Dark Sword-grass 06
© Gillian Nash, September 2015
2091 Dark Sword-grass 05
© Will Bown, Mar 2015
2091 Dark Sword-grass 04
© Les Hill
2091 Dark Sword-grass 03
© Martin Cade, 21 Mar 2010
2091 Dark Sword-grass 02
© Tom Morris
2091 Dark Sword -grass 01
© Phyl England 07/08/2012

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A cosmopolitan, multivoltine species and a regular immigrant to Britain, most often seen in the south, the larva feeding nocturnally on or beneath the surface of the ground on herbaceous plants and vegetables. In Dorset, the moth is ubiquitous and has been trapped in every month except January, although numbers vary greatly from year to year depending on the size and northward extent of immigration from north Africa into Europe during the spring months. Spring immigrants have been noted in fifteen out of the past twenty years, however, numbers so early in the year tend to be small. By early July, second brood adults emerge, but further influxes from Europe augment resident populations. There is no evidence that the species overwinters in the county, and it is thought that all stages perish during the first frosts of winter; the status of the moth is therefore an immigrant and transitory resident.

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