Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nationally Scarce B

Local Status: Uncommon and thinly distributed and restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: Mid Jun-Sep.

Forewing: 10-15mm.

Foodplant: Various grasses such as Sheep's Fescue.

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 recorded193119941931
Year last recorded201020102010
Number of records45153396
Number of individuals253213932
Unique positions281382
Unique locations251172
Adult records44153394
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 396 records from 72 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1931.


1323 Pediasia contaminella 02
© Martin Cade, 7 Aug 2009
1323 Pediasia contaminella 01
© Martin Cade, 27 Jun 2011

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species confined to south-east England, the larva feeding on sheep’s fescue (Festuca ovina). In Dorset, the moth occurred at a single site, Parkstone golf links, more then sixty years ago. There were no further records until 1979 when a singleton was trapped on Studland. A second individual followed in 1982, this time on Portland, and a further four moths were trapped in early August 1994, three at Christchurch and one at Gaunts Common. Colonies were then detected across the Poole Basin subsequently.

At the present time, the species is well established very locally on dry heathland sites, where fine-leaved sheep’s-fescue (Festuca filiformis) and bristle bent (Agrostis curtisii) are potential host food plants. Conservation agencies should include this species in habitat management plans for sites containing dry heathland. The species has a partial double-brood, the first brood nearly six times larger on average than that of the second.

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