Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Migrant

Local Status: Uncommon and thinly distributed migrant.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: Apr-Nov, (mostly Aug-Oct)

Forewing: 12-14mm.

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 recorded190519871905
Year last recorded201120092011
Number of records1504563120
Number of individuals574710411702
Unique positions1346280
Unique locations1096230
Adult records1487553084
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 3120 records from 230 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2195 Delicate 08
© Will Bown
2195 Delicate 07
© Will Bown
2195 Delicate 06
© Julian Francis
2195 Delicate 05
© Mike Hetherington, 7 June 2017
2195 Delicate 04
© Will Bown
2195 Delicate 03
© Les Hill
2195 Delicate 02
© Tom Morris
2195 Delicate 01
© Phyl England 21/11/2012

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: An immigrant species observed most often in the southern-most counties of England and very occasionally further north, the larva feeding on various soft-bladed grass species such as cock's-foot (Dactylus glomerata). In Dorset, the moth has been recorded in sixteen out of the past twenty-one years. Annual frequency has varied enormously from scarce to abundant with the highest numbers in coastal areas. "This is an insect that is unable to tolerate the climate of these islands, but can manage for a year or two to continue to be tolerable to it, and then if the weather deteriorates it dies out and there is a gap in records till fresh immigration enables it to repeat the process." (W Parkinson Curtis ms). Recent data suggests that many moths are primary immigrants from abroad. Large single peaks on 10 October 1991, 23 May 1992, 19 October 2001, 14 September 2006 occurred on dates when airflows were direct from the Mediterranean; such peaks indicate massive outflows of moths at their point of departure at relatively low latitudes. Small numbers of adults were recorded during the second half of June 1993 at West Bexington and more widely in early June 2007, and with little opportunity for immigration from southerly sources during these two periods, it seems likely that the species managed to overwinter here as direct descendants from the huge numbers in 1992 and 2006. Dark well-marked examples indicate a northern European source whereas relatively unmarked examples are likely to have originated from markedly higher-temperature environments such as that experienced in northern Africa.

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