Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Uncommon and thinly distributed or restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jul-Aug

Forewing: 18-27mm.

Foodplant: Aspen, poplars, sallows 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 recorded190519851905
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records6458244
Number of individuals6564258
Unique positions479112
Unique locations42798
Adult records6157236
Immature records102

For the region, we have a total of 244 records from 98 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


White Satin 5
© Julian Francis
2031 White Satin 04
© Paul Harris
2031 White Satin 03
© Martin Cade, 29 Jun 2009
2031 White Satin 02
© Paul Harris
2031 White Satin 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local and decreasing species in England, most frequent in south-east districts and abundant in London, the larva feeding on sallow and willow (Salix spp.), and poplar (Populus spp.). The moth occasionally reaches pest proportions in North America where, like the Brown-tail2029, it was accidentally introduced. In Dorset, the moth appears to be resident in one locality only, at Hurn on the Moors River where it is trapped every year close to a grove of mature black poplar (Populus nigra) trees. Records from about one hundred years ago indicate that the species was frequent in some years in the Stour and Avon river valleys, with larvae abundant in 1901 and 1912. A colony was also detected in the middle of Swanage on 2 July 1906: "forty-two larvae of varying sizes were collected from the leaves of a western balsam poplar (Populus trichocarpa); hundreds more lay out of reach higher up in the tree" (Reverend E Bankes). All other records, roughly half of the Dorset total, refer either to dispersed examples from outside the county, or to immigrants from northern France or the Low Countries. The species occurs throughout mainland Europe.

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