Season (Adult / Immature):
National Status: Common
Local Status: Uncommon and thinly distributed or restricted resident.
Local Record: Grade 1 See here for explanation
Flight time: One generation, May-Jul.
Foodplant: Willows and sallows. Apple, Crab Apple.
|Year first recorded||1905||1983||1905|
|Year last recorded||2011||2009||2011|
|Number of records||1097||90||2374|
|Number of individuals||1725||133||3716|
For the region, we have a total of 2374 records from 306 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.
For further information refer UK Moths.
Davey, P., 2009: A species occurring in England and Wales, the larva feeding on sallow and willow (Salix spp.), apple (Malus spp.) and aspen (Populus tremula). In Dorset, the moth is widespread across the county but at low density. It is most often seen in damp habitats where Salix abounds, on the edges of lagoons, marshes and rivers, and also ondamp heathland where there are large stocks of sallow. The moth has also been noted close to orchards with apple trees, for example at Holnest. The national norm of a partial second brood in late July and early August holds true for Dorset. The following very late example was trapped in sallow-rich damp heathland habitat: Studland Heath, at MV light on 13 October 1991 (P Davey).
An account of a lucky escape is recorded in the Reverend E Bankes diary entry for 26 June 1905: "When approaching Norden Farm pond at 9:15pm (late dusk) a swarthy form, looking like a large hawk-moth, passed me flying in the direction of the pond. On arriving at the pond, I watched it for a few minutes flying round and round over the pond frequently just lowering itself so as to dip itself in the water as some birds often enjoy doing. Finally in one of these plunges it got too far immersed and was unable to extricate itself. It then began to swim vigorously and made considerable progress reaching the middle of the pond, but since it then appeared to be unable to make much headway though still swimming vigorously, I walked into the pond and fished it out with my net. It proved to be a large female Eyed Hawk! I can only assume that it saw, as I myself did, in the water the last gleams of light in the sky, and flew thereto as it would to a lamp."