Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and fairly widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jul-Aug.

Forewing: M 21-25mm. F 28-35mm.

Foodplant: Coarse grasses and reeds.

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 recorded19052002200719851905
Year last recorded20112002200720112011
Number of records1797111793956
Number of individuals4114163528946
Unique positions3651125784
Unique locations2561122560
Adult records1554011763462
Immature records1910142

For the region, we have a total of 3956 records from 560 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


Drinker 7
© Julian Francis
1640 Drinker 06 larva
© Jack Oughton
1640 Drinker 05 larva
© Jenny Seawright
1640 Drinker 04
© Gillian Nash
1640 Drinker 03 male
© Dave Foot
1640 Drinker 02 female
© Dave Foot
1640 Drinker 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A common species over England and Wales, less frequent further north, the larva feeding on broad-bladed grass species such as common reed (Phragmites australis), cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea). The nocturnal- feeding caterpillar can be found characteristically in-situ on the stem of its foodplant during the day. In Dorset, the moth is widespread and common, but rises to abundant in reedbeds, inland marshes, river and stream valleys, and the moister woods. It is locally abundant on coastal grassland on chalky soil, notably on Portland, St Alban's Head and Durlston, and in this drier biotype the foodplant is likely to be tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum).

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