Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nb

Local Status: Rare and restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: May-Jun.

Forewing: 6-8mm.

Foodplant: Wood Spurge.

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 recorded19941994
Year last recorded20112011
Number of records53106
Number of individuals333666
Unique positions3162
Unique locations1020
Adult records4692
Immature records00

For the region, we have a total of 106 records from 20 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1994.


1878 Drab Looper 01
© Paul Harris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species limited to southern Britain, the larva feeding on wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides). In Dorset, this day-flying woodland species is now restricted to a handful of woods on chalky soil in the north-east of the county. In these sites wood spurge is common to abundant, but similar woods on calcareous clay soils containing good stocks of the foodplant have so far failed to yield the moth. It is noticeable that many of these latter woods are less open, occasionally derelict, whereas the former woods have substantial sunny rides and are subject to forestry activity. There are historical records from Bere Wood and Milton Park Wood. The Drab Looper appears to flourish in open well-lit woodland, and it is likely that unmanaged, total canopy woodland is detrimental to the fortunes of this species. It is to be hoped that the resurgence of coppicing at SSSI woodland sites such as at Garston Wood will provide suitable conditions for colonisation over time.

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