Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nb

Local Status: Very rare resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Jul.

Forewing: 18-21mm.

Foodplant: Herbaceous plants.

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 recorded20112011
Number of records2754
Number of individuals64128
Unique positions36
Unique locations36
Adult records2652
Immature records00

For the region, we have a total of 54 records from 6 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2062 Water Ermine 02
© Dave Foot
2062 Water Ermine 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A very local and decreasing species confined to the south-east corner of Britain plus several sites in Devon and Gloucestershire, the larva feeding on mint (Mentha spp.), yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris), water dock (Rumex hydrolapathum), lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica) and other herbaceous marsh plants. In Dorset, the moth has not been seen for more than seventy years; it was seen annually at Chamberlaynes next to Bere Stream by H Andrewes up to 1938. The adult is highly sedentary, and light traps operating several hundred metres distance from a colony may never yield the species. Although unimproved water meadow has all but disappeared from the county due to farming practices, drainage and development, several fragments of suitable habitat still exist. Targeted research in floristically-rich water meadow habitat, may reveal a surviving colony: Bere Stream south-east of Bere Regis, the River Crane at Edmonsham, the River Avon at Burton, and the River Mude at Mudeford.

Hill, L., 2011: A confirmed specimen taken on 14 June 2011 at Alderholt by T Morris. Two Hampshire records from nearby West Park in 2002 and Blashford Lakes in 2007 suggest further colonies in the wider vicinity; however, the sedentary behaviour of this insect noted by Peter Davey indicate it is unlikely to have come from these Hampshire colonies.

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