Season (Adult / Immature):
National Status: Common
Local Status: Scarce and thinly distributed resident.
Local Record: Grade 1 See here for explanation
Flight time: Two generations, May-Jun, Jul-Sep.
Foodplant: Clovers, Trefoil and Lucerne.
|Year first recorded||1929||1929|
|Year last recorded||2011||2011|
|Number of records||104||208|
|Number of individuals||158||316|
For the region, we have a total of 208 records from 72 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1929.
For further information refer UK Moths.
Davey, P., 2009: A species found in all but northern Scotland, the larva feeding on clover (Trifolium spp.) and trefoil (Lotus spp.). In Dorset, the moth used to be resident in unimproved grassland, on dry chalky, arable land across the county, for example it was recorded on twenty-four occasions in the 1930s at Chamberlaynes (H Andrewes), and 'fairly common' on Badbury Rings on 12 May 1934 (S Scarsdale-Brown). Clovers, trefoils and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) grew abundantly within the primary crop and once the corn or wheat had been harvested, livestock were put out to graze the flora-rich fields that remained. Dorset supports vast areas of arable land today, but the use of herbicides and pesticides is so widespread, and the practice of ploughing right up close to the hedge with no room for conservation headlands, provides little scope for the moth to become established. So optimum habitat is virtually absent and no colonies have been detected in recent years. The melanic form ab nocturnata has been seen on one occasion: Iwerne Minster, one by day on 10 May 1946 (J Upton). The moth is now only recorded at times of immigrant activity, and continental sources are suspected for most if not all post-1950s examples.