Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 22-30mm.

Foodplant: Broadleaved woody plants. Hawthorn, Blackthorn etc.

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 recorded1905200819701905
Year last recorded2011200820112011
Number of records17321783622
Number of individuals28221845814
Unique positions238117512
Unique locations195116424
Adult records14821763118
Immature records0000

For the region, we have a total of 3622 records from 424 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1922 Swallow-tailed Moth 04
© Julian Francis, 9 Oct 2018
1922 Swallow-tailed Moth 03
© Julian Francis, 9 Oct 2018
1922 Swallow-tailed Moth 02
© Tom Morris
1922 Swallow-tailed Moth 01
© Terry Box, 08 Jul 2005

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A species found throughout southern Britain, the larva feeding on hawthorn (Crateagus spp.), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), ivy (Hedera helix), privet (Ligustrum spp.) and a variety of other deciduous and evergreen tree and shrub species. In Dorset, the moth is evenly distributed. 'The insect is not abundant and does not like fir woods, but it is a usual sight of an evening flying rapidly along country lanes, in rides in woods and about town in gardens and parks' (W Parkinson Curtis ms). Examples have been trapped occasionally during autumns following warm summers; these suggest a bivoltine tendency in recent years: 1989, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006.

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