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: Aug-Sep.

Forewing: 13-17mm.

Foodplant: Various grasses, especially Wavy Hair-grass.

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 recorded188620001886
Year last recorded201020002010
Number of records911184
Number of individuals1211244
Unique positions29160
Unique locations27156
Adult records911184
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 184 records from 56 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1886.


© Lucie Aggas
2394 Anomalous male 05
© Julian Francis
2394 Anomalous 04
© Julian Francis
2394 Anomalous male 03
© Julian Francis
2394 Anomalous 02
© Jamie McMillan
2394 Anomalous 01
© Les Hill

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local moorland species in the north and west of Britain, and on heathland in Cornwall, Dorset and Hampshire, the larva feeding on wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and other grasses. In Dorset, the moth is very local and at low density being confined mainly to the sandy soils in the Poole Basin where its primary foodsource is likely to be bristle bent (Agrostis curtisii), wavy hair-grass is distinctly local and absent from many of the heathland blocks where the moth occurs. The moth has undoubtedly declined in parallel with the loss of bristle bent rich habitat through lack of disturbance of heathland, see comments under the Speckled Footman2053.

Singletons encountered elsewhere suggest occasional dispersal from colonies on sandy soil, although bristle bent and wavy hair-grass occupy acid soils in the far west of Dorset too, and grow very locally on leached soils on chalk summits: Lyme Regis, (R Demuth), Upwey, at MV on 13 September 1958 (Brigadier H Warry), Nine Barrow Down, (A Russell), Swanage, (A Batley), West Bexington, at MV on 15 August 1993, 28 August 1993 (R Eden), Puddletown, at MV on 29 September 2001, 13 September 2003 (H Wood Homer), Durdle Door, at MV on 23 August 1971 (D Brown). Consideration should be given to including this species in habitat management plans for heathland reserves. The implementation of the recommendations highlighted within the account of the Speckled Footman should benefit this species too.

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