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: One generation, May-Jun.

Forewing: 16-22mm.

Foodplant: Ash, Blackthorn, Dog-rose other broadleaved trees.

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 recorded19051905
Year last recorded20092009
Number of records4386
Number of individuals50100
Unique positions1632
Unique locations1428
Adult records4182
Immature records00

For the region, we have a total of 86 records from 28 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1918 Lunar Thorn 02
© Martin Cade, 24 Jul 2008
1918 Lunar Thorn 01
© Terry Box, 30 May 2004

Species Account

Similar species: 1919 Selenia tetralunaria (Purple Thorn).

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species in Britain, the larva feeding on ash (Fraxinus spp.), birch (Betula spp.), oak (Quercus spp.) and a variety of other deciduous tree species. In Dorset, this early-summer moth forms relatively small colonies very locally in the north and north-west of the county. It is chiefly restricted to deciduous woodland on the ill-drained clay soils across the Blackmore Vale and in woodland on the central and north chalk downs. Records from Melbury Park and Chedington Wood hint at colonisation of woodland on neutral clay soils further west.

Although the moth is single-brooded in the UK, second-brood examples have been recorded at Hurn, two on 19 July 1998 (M Jeffes), and on Portland, 24 July 2008 (M Cade). Continental sources are probable for these individuals, specifically western France and eastern France, respectively.

The moth is rather similar to Purple Thorn1919. Diagnostics include: single deep scallop on edge of hindwing.


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