Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Uncommon and thinly distributed or restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: Jun-Oct, hibernates through to Apr.

Forewing: 8-11mm.

Foodplant: Large range of plants, including Restharrow, Cranesbills, and cultivated Geranium spp., Goosefoot, Heathers spp. and Mint.

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 recorded187220001872
Year last recorded201020102010
Number of records14238360
Number of individuals13736346
Unique positions7210164
Unique locations709158
Adult records12838332
Immature records102

For the region, we have a total of 360 records from 158 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1872.


1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 03
© Will Bown
1497 Beautiful Plume 02
© Will Bown
1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

Davey, P., 2020: Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla: A widespread and increasingly frequent species across Britain, the larva feeding on a broad range of herbs. In Dorset, this is an often-met-with species, tending to favour for example, forest edge, heathland and wayside habitats, where hedge woundwort Stachys sylvatica, heather Calluna vulgaris and goosefoot Chenopodium respectively, grow. It is increasingly found in gardens where the larvae feed on various plants in the mint family, especially common calamint Clinopodium ascendens and lemon balm Melissa officinalis. Larvae are also found on the flowers of lavenders Lavandula spp.

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