Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: M 21-29mm. F 21-35mm.

Foodplant: Grasses, Herbaceous plants.

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 recorded195519861955
Year last recorded201120072011
Number of records42810876
Number of individuals603151236
Unique positions1376286
Unique locations1226256
Adult records39510810
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 876 records from 256 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.


0014 Ghost Moth 06
© Paul Harris
0014 Ghost Moth 04 male and female (upper)
© Gillian Nash, Jun 2014
0014 Ghost Moth 04 female
© Will Bown, June 2013
0014 Ghost Moth 03 male
© Paul Harris
0014 Ghost Moth 02 male
© Dave Foot
0014 Ghost Moth 01 female
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in the British Isles, the larva feeding on the roots of grasses and other plants that include nettle (Urtica spp.), burdock (Arctium spp.), dandelion (Taraxacum spp.) and dock (Rumex spp.). In Dorset, the moth ranges from common on some unimproved alkaline grasslands, to local on sandy soils "further east; it is virtually absent from heathland. The species has not constituted an agricultural pest, but prior to the widespread use of pesticides in agriculture occasionally proved troublesome in flower gardens" (per W Parkinson Curtis manuscript).

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