Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Migrant

Local Status: Uncommon but widely distributed migrant/wanderer.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Recorded all months (most Sep-Oct).

Forewing: 19-23mm.

Foodplant: Low growing plants, Dandelion 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 recorded195519831955
Year last recorded201120102011
Number of records1580643288
Number of individuals680210513814
Unique positions12210264
Unique locations979212
Adult records1574643276
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 3288 records from 212 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.


2119 Pearly Underwing 05
© Julian Francis
2119 Pearly Underwing 04
© Gillian Nash, August 2017
2119 Pearly Underwing 03
© Gillian Nash, October 2015
2119 Pearly Underwing 02
© Jack Oughton
2119 Pearly Underwing 01
© Martin Cade, 2 Jan 2007

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A cosmopolitan, mainly tropical and sub-tropical species, and a regular immigrant to Britain, commonest in the south, rarely recorded inland in Scotland, the larva, although rarely encountered, is a defoliator of wild and cultivated herbaceous plants, and sometimes thrives in greenhouses. In the tropics, the larva is a serious pest of vegetables. In Dorset, the moth has been observed in every month of the year, although numbers vary annually depending on the size and northward extent of migrations from the Mediterranean region and mainland Africa, where it is resident. The build up in numbers as the year advances is similar to other common immigrant species. Unusually high numbers of adults were trapped in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2003 and 2006. There is no evidence that the Pearly Underwing overwinters in the county; it is thought that all stages perish during the first frosts of winter. The status of the moth is therefore of an immigrant and transitory resident.

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