Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Scarce and thinly distributed resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Jun.

Forewing: 16-22mm.

Foodplant: Poplars, Aspen and willows.

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 recorded190519991905
Year last recorded201120072011
Number of records1258266
Number of individuals1409298
Unique positions533112
Unique locations513108
Adult records1188252
Immature records204

For the region, we have a total of 266 records from 108 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1998 Poplar Kitten 04
© Julian Francis
1998 Poplar Kitten 03
© Paul Harris
1998 Poplar Kitten 02
© Jack Oughton
1998 Poplar Kitten 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

Similar species: 1997 Furcula furcula (Sallow Kitten).

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread but declining species across England and Wales, the larva feeding on poplar (Populus spp.). In Dorset, the moth is local and most often found in mature poplar plantations, in woods containing aspen and in towns where poplars have been planted in streets or in parks. This situation contrasts with the following observation penned more than forty years ago. "I think it is safe to assert that practically every poplar of any age in the county will be found to bear empty cocoons." (W Parkinson Curtis manuscript). In 2003, Poplar Kittens appeared widely at light traps across Dorset over a four day period, concurrent with a notable immigration from northern Europe: Upwey, on 1 June 2003 (P Harris), Preston, on 31 May 2003 (M Forster), Puddletown, on 2 June 2003 (H Wood Homer), Wool, on 29 May 2003 (D Cooper), Birches Copse, on 2 June 2003 (P Davey).

The Poplar Kitten resembles the Sallow Kitten1997, and care is needed in identifying this species correctly. Diagnostics include: a larger species; its single brood status means that it is unlikely to be on the wing from early July onwards; outer edge of blue-grey central band tends to be a smooth curve bounded by a well-marked black line.


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