Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Fairly common and widely distributed resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Jun-mid Sep.

Forewing: 12-16mm.

Foodplant: Various aquatic plants and pondweed.

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 recorded188519951885
Year last recorded201020102010
Number of records332106876
Number of individuals4861501272
Unique positions19025430
Unique locations14717328
Adult records301101804
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 876 records from 328 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1885.


Brown China-mark aberration
© Julian Francis
1345 Brown China-mark 04
© Julian Francis
1345 Brown China-mark 03
© Will Bown
1345 Elophila nymphaeata 02
© Gillian Nash, June 2015
1345 Elophila nymphaeata 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in Britain, the larva feeding beneath the surface of ponds and lakes on pondweeds (Potamogeton spp.), frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae), bur-reeds (Sparganium spp.), water-lily (Nymphaceae) and other aquatic species. In Dorset, the moth is frequent locally in pond and slow-flowing river habitats where broad-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton natans) is dominant, and in acid mire where bog pondweed (Potamogeton polygonifolius) grows.

The national norm is for a single brood from late June to August, but a partial bivoltine cycle is suspected in Dorset, with two overlapping broods between early June and mid-September, much as occurs on the Continent. The moth occasionally flies some distance away from its core watery habitat.

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