Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Na

Local Status: Rare and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Mar-Apr.

Forewing: 14-17mm.

Foodplant: Wild Privet and Ash.

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 recorded19541954
Year last recorded20112011
Number of records1938
Number of individuals4590
Unique positions1326
Unique locations714
Adult records1734
Immature records12

For the region, we have a total of 38 records from 14 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1954.


1880 Barred Tooth-striped 02
© Les Hill
1880 Barred Tooth-striped 01
© Martin Cade, 28 Mar 2011

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local and decreasing species in England and western Scotland, the larva feeding on privet (Ligustrum vulgare) and ash (Fraxinus spp.). In Dorset, this retiring and elusive moth is restricted to very small numbers on a single unimproved chalk downland site where moderate stocks of mature privet grow amongst deciduous scrub. Although ash is a common tree elsewhere across the county, the absence of records from ash-rich habitat makes it doubtful that this is an alternative foodplant in the county. Historically, the moth has been seen at three other locations in north-east Dorset, Iwerne Minster, Tarrant Gunville and Badbury Rings. Records from the latter site occurred at a time when the monument was covered in scrub. This is not the case today as scrub has been reduced to 1% of the total site area by the National Trust as a direct result of giving priority to the archaeological features of the site. Scrub removal from open downland and coniferisation of deciduous woodland on chalky soils over much of north-east Dorset in the latter half of the twentieth century has undoubtedly reduced the once extensive wild privet-scrub habitat available, and the moth has all but disappeared as a consequence. The agency who manage the site hosting the present colony have taken steps to ensure that the existing mature stands of privet are not removed as part of downland management initiatives.

Hill, L., 2013: Two specimens taken recently in Shaggs on 25 March 2009 (L McLellan) and East Lulworth on 23 March 2011 (L Hill) and a further individual in Portland on 28 March 2011 (M Cade). The Shaggs specimen turned up during a northerly airflow may suggest dispersal from known sites in north-east Dorset. Not particularly known as a primary immigrant, it is also considered there may be unrecorded colonies along the coast between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door where a large growth of wild privet (Ligustrum vulgare) is present. To-date, no evidence of a colony has been found (Hill, 2011).

Hill, L.J. 2011. Possible new sites for Trichopteryx polycommata ([D. & S.]) Barred Tooth-striped (Lep.:
    Geometridae) in Dorset (VC9). Entomologist's Rec. J. Var. 123(4):153-154.

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