Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Fairly common and widely distributed resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Jun-Jul.

Forewing: 8-11mm.

Foodplant: Mosses, dead or decaying leaves.

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 recorded193319951933
Year last recorded201020102010
Number of records293106798
Number of individuals26584146144
Unique positions18315396
Unique locations13613298
Adult records265104738
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 798 records from 298 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1933.


1333 Scoparia pyralella 02
© Gillian Nash, June 2016
1333 Scoparia pyralella 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A common species in England and Wales, more local in Scotland, the larva feeding on decaying plant material, and probably on the roots of common ragwort (Senecio jacobaea). In Dorset, the moth is abundant on unimproved grassland on chalky soil, and is most frequently seen on under-grazed downland and set aside, often where common ragwort is absent. The only records of rearing suggest that leaf litter is at least one of the foodplants. However, despite searching over a number of years no larvae have been found recently. The form purbeckensis, where the regions on the forewings inside the antemedian fascia and outside the postmedian fascia are white, is only known in the UK from the area near Swanage. The brown markings and relatively white ground colour are diagnostic.

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