Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Scarce and restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: May-Jul.

Forewing: 15-20mm.

Foodplant: Heathers and Broom.

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 recorded198519831983
Year last recorded201020112011
Number of records6524178
Number of individuals15387480
Unique positions321186
Unique locations28974
Adult records6424176
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 178 records from 74 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1983.


1970 Grass Wave 02
© Chris Manley, 18 Jun 2006
1970 Grass Wave 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species occurring in England, Wales and southern Scotland, the larva feeding on heather (Calluna spp.), heath (Erica spp.), broom (Cytisus scoparius) and gorse (Ulex europaeus). In Dorset, the moth is common very locally. It has been noted in some but not all heathland blocks; some where broom is found, such as Ashington and Merley, Parley Common and Matchams, and others such as Gold Point on the Arne peninsular and Decoy Heath where there is no broom. The Grass Wave occupies an additional, rather different biotype in the county, namely old grassland on ill-drained clay soil at Rooksmoor in the Blackmoor Vale. Here, a thriving colony exists but where none of its stated foodplants occur. Dyer's greenweed (Genista tinctoria), which is abundant at the site, is a likely food-source for the larvae. Old records from nearby Glanville's Wootton and Caundle's Holt suggest that the moth was more widespread in the past, presumably at a time when large areas of neutral unimproved grassland existed. Continued monitoring of this moth is recommended at the Rooksmoor SSSI. Light winter grazing appears to be important to maintaining good stocks of dyer's greenweed at the site.

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