Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Very scarce and restricted resident/wanderer.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Jul.

Forewing: 16-21mm.

Foodplant: Grasses.

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 recorded192920001929
Year last recorded201020002010
Number of records36174
Number of individuals511104
Unique positions14130
Unique locations14130
Adult records36174
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 74 records from 30 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1929.


2333 Large Nutmeg 01
© Paul Harris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A declining species restricted mainly to south-east Britain, the larva feeding nocturnally on the flowers and immature seeds and later the foliage of various grass species. In Dorset, the moth has declined to the point of extinction with just a handful of resident records in the past ten years, notably from West Blagdon which is in the vicinity of Martin Down. This contrasts markedly with its "local, but locally frequent" (W Parkinson Curtis ms) status nearly fifty years ago. The moth depends on unimproved dry chalky grassland, and the wholesale improvement and thus destruction of this habitat seems to have all but wiped out this species. All Dorset records follow: Sherborne, (Dale), Chesil Beach, (J Bradley, D Fletcher), Dorchester, at light on 19 June 1950, two at light on 13 June 1952 (Dr A Lisney), Portland, not scarce (C Partridge), common (N Richardson), Milton Abbey, (O Leigh Wood), Chamberlaynes, at light on 11 June 1929 and on 1 July 1929, at honeycomb on 19, two on 20, 21, two on 26 June and on 1 July 1936 (H Andrewes), Bloxworth, (O Pickard Cambridge), (W Parkinson Curtis), Iwerne Minster, at MV on 21 June 1955, three between 18 June and 6 July 1956, 24, 27 June and 4 July 58, four between 14 June 1959 and 25 June 1959, 18 June and 25 July 1960, 21 May 1961, (H Moore), Blandford, (S Scarsdale Brown), Gussage St Michael, (Reverend J Ward), Scar Bank, at light on 21 May 1936, 28 May 1948, 18 June 1949 (A Russell), Cranborne, tolerably common (Reverend F Fisher), Woolland, at MV on 28 June 1997 (P Benham), West Blagdon, at MV on 22 July 2003, two on 4, four on 5, and three on 6 June 2004 (D Green), Highcliffe, two (B Barton coll.).

The following individuals were trapped at times of migrant activity: West Bexington, on 29 May 2005, 2 July and 5 July 2006 (R Eden), Chilfrome, on 10 June 2007 (Mrs S Philp), Portland, on 2 July 1994 (M Cade), Broadcroft Quarry, three on 24 June 2006 (P Butter et al), Preston, on 29 June 2006 (M Forster), Puddletown, on 31 May 2003 (Hugo Wood Homer), Kingston, 18 June 2005 (P Benham), Durlston, 10 June 2006 (P Davey), Hurn, on 22 June 2000 (M Jeffes).

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