Season (Adult / Immature):
National Status: Local
Local Status: Scarce and restricted resident.
Local Record: Grade 3 See here for explanation
Flight time: Aug-Sep.
Foodplant: Various grasses, especially Wavy Hair-grass.
|Year first recorded||1886||2000||1886|
|Year last recorded||2010||2000||2010|
|Number of records||91||1||184|
|Number of individuals||121||1||244|
For the region, we have a total of 184 records from 56 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1886.
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.