Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Scarce and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: -

Forewing: -

Foodplant: -

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 recorded194619841946
Year last recorded201120062011
Number of records719160
Number of individuals1439304
Unique positions31572
Unique locations26562
Adult records669150
Immature records306

For the region, we have a total of 160 records from 62 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1946.


2183 Blossom Underwing 04
© Luke Phillips
2183 Blossom Underwing 03
© Paul Harris
2183 Blossom Underwing 02
© Les Hill
2183 Blossom Underwing 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species in southern and western Britain, the larva feeding on oak (Quercus spp.). In Dorset the moth is local, at low density and a decreased species. The species seems to prefer the soft, young foliage of pendunculate oak (Quercus robur) and sessile oak (Quercus petraea) resulting from coppicing, grazing or forestry within old oak woods, plus the scrubby oaks that grow on sandy soil. The moth is particularly common at Rooksmoor and at Deadmoor Common in the Blackmore Vale. It has also been recorded on more than one occasion from Melcombe Park. Larvae have been found at Rooksmoor on the tender foliage of grazed oak plants no more than eight inches high that form part of the old grassland mosaic at the site. Elsewhere, the loss of old oak woodland and the removal of scrubby oaks to make way for conifers and scrub-free heathland, has inevitably caused the species to decline. "Its seasonal abundance varies within wide limits, but I have seen the larva so abundant in the larger deciduous woodlands, that every stroke of the beating stick put three or four on the tray." (W Parkinson Curtis ms). It is recommended that this species be included in habitat management plans for coppicing within oak woodland blocks at Rooksmoor, Deadmoor and Alners Gorse.

The moth has a tendency to disperse and there are several instances of immigration to the UK from abroad; it occurs throughout Europe. In 1999, many moths appeared across southern England from Cornwall to Essex; the following light trap records comprise the Dorset tally at this time: Portland, eight on 1 April 1999, 2 April 1999, three on 4 April 1999 (M Cade), Preston, on 1 April 1999 (P Knight), Povington Wood, six on 8 April 1999 (P Davey), Ashington, on 5 April 1999 (J Fradgley).

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