Season (Adult / Immature):
National Status: Common
Local Status: Very common and widespread resident.
Local Record: Grade 1 See here for explanation
Flight time: One generation, May-Aug.
Foodplant: Many small plants, trees and shrubs.
|Year first recorded||1905||2007||1973||1905|
|Year last recorded||2011||2007||2011||2011|
|Number of records||3507||1||240||7496|
|Number of individuals||8957||2||1006||19930|
For the region, we have a total of 7496 records from 596 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.
For further information refer UK Moths.
Davey, P., 2009: A common species in England and Wales, but more local in Scotland, the larva feeding on a wide variety of deciduous tree and shrub species, and occasionally recorded on plants. In Dorset, the moth is widespread and common, especially in deciduous woodland. The moth is least common in open country. The Peppered moth is arguably the most famous insect in the world, achieving iconic status as the proof of natural selection at work, and appearing in many biology textbooks to this day. A major part of the original Peppered moth research, undertaken by Bernard Kettlewell, was carried out at Dean End on the Cranborne Chase in 1955. The black form, ab carbonaria, was first noticed in the industrial midlands about 1850 and more widely thereafter in towns and cities across the country. Today, the 'black' Peppered remains the dominant form throughout the industrial north, and elsewhere as a variable proportion of the population.
Approximately four hundred and sixty-five Peppereds were trapped at Arne Wood between 1974 and 1995 by B Pickess who noted instances of ab carbonaria. Analysis of these records (see Chart 1) indicates that the number of ab. carbonaria steadily declined from twenty percent to less than five percent of the total population (red line), and that overall Peppered moth numbers fell from an average of four per night to less than two over the twenty year period (grey line - normal form; plus black line - ab. carbonaria).