Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Abundant and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 14-18mm.

Foodplant: Grasses.

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 recorded1905200719831905
Year last recorded2011200820112011
Number of records4934217610224
Number of individuals18615664638534
Unique positions385225824
Unique locations263121570
Adult records429121768938
Immature records1002

For the region, we have a total of 10224 records from 570 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2198 Smoky Wainscot 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

Similar species: 2199 Mythimna pallens (Common Wainscot).

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in Britain, the larva feeding on a wide variety of grasses. In Dorset, the moth is widespread and common, rising to abundant in unimproved grassland, falling to frequent on open heathland.

Care is needed in identifying the Smoky Wainscot correctly, as it resembles the Common Wainscot2199. Diagnostics include: darker hindwing; pronounced set of post-median dots; flight period June to September, not May to October. A partial second brood occurs during September.

Hill, L., 2013: Additional diagnostic includes more rounded forewing apex than Common Wainscot2199 and other species.


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