Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Scarce and restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: Jul-Aug.

Forewing: 16-21mm.

Foodplant: Heathland plants including Heather, Broom, Hawthorn, Bramble and Creeping Willow.

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 recorded194619831946
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records28517604
Number of individuals575741298
Unique positions668148
Unique locations468108
Adult records27114570
Immature records5316

For the region, we have a total of 604 records from 108 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1946.


2027 Dark Tussock 04
© Jack Oughton
2027 Dark Tussock 03 larva
© Jenny Seawright
2027 Dark Tussock 02
© David Kingman
2027 Dark Tussock 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species in Britain, restricted to heathland, moorland, and coastal habitat, the larva feeding on heather (Calluna vulgaris and Erica spp.), broom (Cytisus scoparius), gorse (Ulex spp.), sallow (Salix spp.) and many other plants. In Dorset, the moth is confined to dry heathland where it is frequent very locally. Apart for a single record of an example trapped on Portland on 10 July 2005 in a light offshore north-easterly airflow, there are no records of the moth well away from heathland. The moth has been trapped on Brownsea Island where there are fragments of dry heather clad areas. "The adult is easily overlooked as it sits cryptically on stout heather stems which make it difficult to spot (W Parkinson Curtis ms)."

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