Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Abundant and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, mid May-Aug, stragglers to Oct.

Forewing: 19-26mm.

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 recorded1905200719701905
Year last recorded2011200820112011
Number of records7534240015872
Number of individuals8278056436178442
Unique positions4712401026
Unique locations307133682
Adult records6825239614446
Immature records2004

For the region, we have a total of 15872 records from 682 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2321 Dark Arches 04
© Julian Francis
2321 Dark Arches 03 dark form
© Jack Oughton
2321 Dark Arches 02
© Les Hill
2321 Dark Arches 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: An abundant species in south-east Britain falling to frequent in the north-west, the larva feeding on the lower stems and roots of various grasses. In Dorset, the moth is ubiquitous and common, increasing to abundant in dry unimproved grassland habitat. "I have never been anywhere in the county, at a suitable time, without seeing this insect." (W Parkinson Curtis ms). The moth is on the wing over a protracted period between late May and early September. The following moths trapped during the autumn are partial second generation examples observed mainly at the end of warm summers: Walditch, 29 October 2006 (M Parsons), West Bexington, at MV on 5 October 1991, 1 October 2002, 6 October 2003, 6 November 2003, 18 November 2006 (R Eden), 18 October 1997, 20 October 1997 (Dr P Sterling, D Hallett), Lyons Gate, on 5 October 2005 (T Box), Puddletown, on 14 December 2003 (H Wood Homer), Iwerne Minster, at MV on 25 October 1962 (H Moore), Furzebrook, at MV on 6 October 1972 (Professor N Webb), Swanage, on 11 October 2006 (R Cox), Gaunts Common, at MV on 8 October 1991 (P Davey), St Ives, at MV on 3 October 1988 (Dr J Clarke), Hengistbury Head, at MV on 17 October 1997 (M Jeffes).

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