Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Migrant

Local Status: Very scarce migrant, occasional breeder in good years.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: Migrants Jun-Jul.

Forewing: 6-8mm.

Foodplant: Fleabane, Ploughman's-spikenard

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 recorded19471947
Year last recorded20112011
Number of records114228
Number of individuals211422
Unique positions4692
Unique locations3672
Adult records103206
Immature records1122

For the region, we have a total of 228 records from 72 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1947.


2408 Small Marbled 05
© Julian Francis, 13 Jul 2019
2408 Small Marbled 04
© Gillian Nash, July 2015
2408 Small Marbled 03 Ex female
© David Foot
2408 Small Marbled 02
© Debra Saunders
2408 Small Marbled 01
© Martin Cade, 12 Jul 2011

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A rare immigrant species that is resident in southern Europe and north Africa, and a transitory resident in central and northern Europe, the larva feeding on the ovaries and nectaries of common fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) and ploughman's-spikenard (Inula conyzae). In Dorset, this diminutive moth (for example, half the size of the micro Nomophila noctuella1398) is a rare immigrant and transitory resident, recorded at light traps chiefly from the coast: West Bexington, on 1, 2, 6, 9, 10 July 1998, 25 June 2003, 24 August 2003, 26 June 2006, 22 October 2006 (R Eden), Kingcombe, on 16 June 2006 (Dr P Sterling), Portland, on 7 September 1989 (M Rogers), on 15 October 1995 (N Hall), on 26 June 1996, 7 July 1998, 5 September 2005, 13 June 2006, three on 22, 24 and 26 July 2006, 7 August 2006 (M Cade), Church Ope Cove, on 23 July 1982 (B Withers), Broadway, on 21 July 2006 (P Harris), Preston, on 30 June 2003 (R Lambert), Gillingham, on 13 June 2006 (G Hopkins), Durlston, on 13 October 1995 (Durlston Country Park), Scar Bank, on 17 September 1947 (A Russell).

However, there was no opportunity for immigration on any of the 1982, 1996 and 1998 dates, and in that latter year, larvae were found in the flowerheads of common fleabane growing abundantly in the ditches and damp clay meadows next to Chesil Beach. Searches were prompted by the occurrence of the five West Bexington adults trapped three weeks earlier: West Bexington, twelve larvae on fleabane on 26 July 1998 (Dr P Sterling). Although there was no prospect of immigration during the first week of July, the adults may have been the offspring from immigration during May. A second rare immigrant common fleabane-feeding species, the micro Tebenna micalis386, was also recorded as an adult and as a larva during 1998 in Dorset, and it seems likely that both species were present in the original immigration.

The following is an account of the first moth to be caught in Dorset, at Wych in 1892: "As I was walking close to the edge of the water at about 6pm. I disturbed it out of the rushes and grass, and it settled within a foot of the edge of the water and let me get my net behind it - a most necessary move since the strong breeze was blowing straight off shore and across the water. I then bent down to look at it, whereupon it flew up and the wind carried it safely into the bottom of my net." (Reverend E Bankes): Wych, netted by day within a foot of the edge of Poole Harbour on 8 June 1892.

Hill, L., 2013: The year 2011 saw further immigration of this species with 79 records of both adults and larval stages being recorded between 27 June in Charmouth (G Sell), Weymouth (J Oughton), Chickerell (C Pinder) & Upwey (P Harris) and 16 October in Portland (M Cade).

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