Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Very scarce and restricted resident or migrant/wanderer.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jul-Aug

Forewing: 16-18mm.

Foodplant: Goose-foots, Oraches.

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 recorded196419851964
Year last recorded201120052011
Number of records4310106
Number of individuals4310106
Unique positions23658
Unique locations23556
Adult records4110102
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 106 records from 56 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1964.


1749 Dark Spinach 02
© Jack Oughton
1749 Dark Spinach 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A species found across much of Britain, apart from northern Scotland, the larva feeding on goosefoot (Chenopodium spp.) and orache (Atriplex spp.). In Dorset, the moth is rare (less than thirty records) and tends to be observed singly on any given night suggesting perhaps that the species is either at a very low density indeed, or it is a transient resident of high-nutrient verge and disturbed ground, or that it has immigrant rather than resident status. Unlike the Plain Pug1842 which also depends on goosefoots and oraches, this species does not seem to be associated with oraches growing on muddy shorelines, for example there are no records from the Fleet region nor from twenty-five years trapping at Arne next to Poole Harbour. The species moths appeared unexpectedly at light traps in Hampshire localities on 21 August 1996, 9 August 1998 and 29 July 1999, respectively. The following were noted in Dorset coincident with these dates: Portland, on 19 August 1996, 29 July 1999 (M Cade), Grove, on 19 August 1996 (D Walbridge), Gaunts Common, on 14 August 1996, 9 August 1998, 13 August 1998 (P Davey).

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