Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nb

Local Status: Scarce and restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 9-12mm.

Foodplant: Common Bird's-foot-trefoil and Kidney Vetch.

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 recorded18901890
Year last recorded20112011
Number of records52104
Number of individuals173346
Unique positions3366
Unique locations2856
Adult records50100
Immature records00

For the region, we have a total of 104 records from 56 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1890.


0382 Six-belted Clearwing 04
© Colin Burningham
0382 Six-belted Clearwing 03
© Martin Wood
0382 Six-belted Clearwing 02
© Dave Shenton
0382 Six-belted Clearwing 01
© Dave Foot

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: Recorded from most southern counties of England and Wales, the larva over-wintering once in the roots of common birds-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), and in this state it is very difficult to detect. The species tends to prefer chalk-pit edges, cliff ledges and disturbed calcareous ground where host plants abound. Adults may be found relatively easily by sweeping or by carefully searching downland flora and grasses upon which the moth sits; the heads of salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) are particularly favoured. The moth emerges from the end of June until mid-August. In Dorset, the moth has been recorded from many calcareous coastal locations and particularly from Portland where it is locally abundant, and is one of the less difficult Clearwing species to locate. Dr P Sterling has observed freshly emerged adults sitting on horseshoe vetch (Hippocrepis comosa) on Portland, and it is likely that this is a host foodplant, at least on the island. R Cook and D Humphrey used a pheromone lure to attract seventy males at Easton on Portland in 2001. Inland in recent years, it has been recorded from Bovington, Hod Hill, and West Hill on the Purbeck Ridge, but it is probably less widespread than it once was due to the loss of unimproved chalk grassland habitat. No effort is required to conserve this species given that the foodplant is not threatened where colonies of the moth are found.

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