Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jul-Aug.

Forewing: 13-16mm.

Foodplant: Broadleaved trees and shrubs including Rose family.

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 recorded1905200819921905
Year last recorded2011200820112011
Number of records205611124338
Number of individuals7105123414680
Unique positions235111494
Unique locations171111366
Adult records191411104050
Immature records260052

For the region, we have a total of 4338 records from 366 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1634 Lackey 08
© Martin Wood
1634 Lackey 07 larvae
© Jack Oughton
1634 Lackey 06 larvae
© Jack Oughton
1634 Lackey 05
© Julian Francis
1634 Lackey 04 larva
© Jack Oughton
1634 Lackey 03 male
© Dave Foot
1634 Lackey 02 female
© Dave Foot
1634 Lackey 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A species found in England and Wales becoming less frequent as one heads north, the larva feeding on a variety of deciduous shrubs and plants. The larvae, which are highly distasteful to birds, behave in the same gregarious way as the Small Eggar1633, spinning a web on the host shrub to house the colony. The blue markings on the caterpillar are not pigment but Tyndall Blue, a colour derived from the interaction of light and micro-structures on the insect. When almost full-grown, the larvae disperse.

In Dorset, the moth is abundant in coastal districts, especially where blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) thickets abound. Inland, the moth ranges from common on chalky soils to rare on sandy soils.

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