Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Fairly common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Jul.

Forewing: 21-25mm.

Foodplant: Bedstraws.

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 recorded195519851955
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records9441352158
Number of individuals29742966540
Unique positions2069430
Unique locations15110322
Adult records8991352068
Immature records204

For the region, we have a total of 2158 records from 322 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.


1992 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 04 larva
© Jack Oughton
1992 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 03
© Dave Foot
1992 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 02
© Tom Morris
1992 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 01
© Terry Box, 06 Jun 2004

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species found throughout the British Isles, the larva feeding on bedstraw (Galium spp.). In Dorset, the moth frequents two biotypes: the first is unimproved grassland where lady's bedstraw (Galium verum) abounds on chalky soil both inland and along the Jurassic coast; on optimum sites it is common. The second biotype is heathland and grassland on acid soil in the Poole Basin where heath bedstraw (Galium saxatile) grows; in these habitats it is at low density.

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