Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Migrant

Local Status: Uncommon and thinly distributed migrant.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: Recorded all year, mainly Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 16-19mm.

Foodplant: Common Restharrow.

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 recorded190519831905
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records707181450
Number of individuals1671183378
Unique positions1157244
Unique locations986208
Adult records698171430
Immature records102

For the region, we have a total of 1450 records from 208 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2403 Bordered Straw 05
© Paul Harris
2403 Bordered Straw 04
© Gillian Nash, June 2015
2403 Bordered Straw 03
© Gillian Nash, June 2015
2403 Bordered Straw 02
© Will Bown, June 2015
2403 Bordered Straw 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

Similar species: 2400 Scarce Bordered Straw and the very rare 2404 Eastern Bordered Straw.

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A regular immigrant species from southern Europe and north Africa, more often recorded in southern coastal counties and becoming progressively scarcer further north, the polyphagous larva feeding on various herbaceous plants. In Dorset, the moth has been recorded in all but four of the past twenty-one years, and in every month apart from November, December and March. The bivoltine brood pattern is partially obscured by influxes of moths from different latitudes emerging at different times. The moth visits the county usually as singletons, but in some years relatively high numbers arrive, even in a single night. This was the case in 1996 (see the June peak in graphic); the event is discussed in the account of the Small Mottled Willow2385. A second peak occurred during the third week of August 1996 coincident with the arrival of notable immigrant Lepidoptera species. However, small numbers of moths were being recorded from the beginning of August and this continued through to the second week of September. These were probably home-grown second generation moths, and the discovery of one larva was found in the wild feeding on rest harrow (Ononis repens) on Chesil Beach on 7 July 1996 by J Chainey and R Cook, supports this.

An account in a diary of a successful search for larvae follows: "Went by 11:47 train to Swanage where I was joined by B Nevinson and E Nevinson. We worked the hollows on the south cliff between Peverill Point and Bellevue restaurant and between us got altogether two dozen of various sizes and colours. They feed only on the flowers of Ononis repens, and I am told, are best found, when feeding, in middle of morning in sunshine or in the evening." (Reverend E Bankes, 24 July 1894). In 1906, following a largescale immigration of many lepidoptera species in late May, Bankes searched Peverill Point and Winspit, and found forty-six and one hundred and fifty larvae on 23 July and 1 August, respectively, again feeding on common restharrow.

Like the Scarce Bordered Straw2400, many examples that reach the county are likely to have originated from sources south of 35 deg. N where the species is at least double-brooded, and in the sub-tropics it is most probably continuously brooded. The forewing ground colour tends to vary as function of the temperatures experienced by the pupa. High temperatures of 30 deg. C produce pale-coloured moths, and low temperatures 5 deg. C produce dark-coloured moths; the very palest trapped in the first half of the year, theoretically originate from the African continent, the darkest, often encountered in the late summer, are likely to have developed nearer to home in cooler climes.

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