Season (Adult / Immature):
National Status: Local
Local Status: Rare and very local resident.
Local Record: Grade 3 See here for explanation
Flight time: One generation. Aug-Oct (Apr-May after hibernation)
Foodplant: Buckthorn, Alder Buckthorn.
|Year first recorded||1886||1982||1886|
|Year last recorded||2009||1982||2009|
|Number of records||24||1||50|
|Number of individuals||28||13||82|
For the region, we have a total of 50 records from 30 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1886.
For further information refer UK Moths.
Davey, P., 2009: A local species confined to southern Britain, the larva feeding on buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus). In Dorset, the dearth of recent records indicates that the species is at low ebb. The only recent resident record is of a post-hibernated individual in buckthorn-rich habitat on Fontmell Down. Old records suggest that colonies existed amongst scrub on chalk downland sites inland and in alder buckthorn localities in the Poole Basin. Coastal records relate to dispersed individuals, as buckthorn species do not grow along the coastal belt. Records from these three locality categories follow:
Chalk downland (inland):
Iwerne Minster, at MV light on 6 August 1955, 4 August 1964, 27 August 1968 (H Moore), Fontmell Down, at MV light on 24 May 2004 (P Butter), Badbury Rings, 18 July 1934 (H Andrewes), Tarrant Gunville, at MV light on 2 August 1955 (R Hillier).
Old chalk scrub is an essential component of chalk grassland for many invertebrate species. However, improvement of chalk grassland since the Second World War has resulted in the removal of much of the scrub, including buckthorn. The small amounts that remain tend to be restricted to slopes too steep to plough, as at Fontmell Down. Many invertebrate species associated with this valuable habitat have declined dramatically, the Tissue amongst them.
Chamberlaynes, 8 August 1929, 20 May 1931, 25 May 1935, and Morden Bog, 26 May 1927 (H Andrewes), Norden, flying in passage inside Norden House on 23 April 1907, and Corfe Castle, at sallow bloom on 15 April 1886 and 2 May 1891 (Reverend E Bankes), Studland, at MV light on 8 October 1961 (S Coxey).
Localities where residual alder buckthorn stands still exist are few and far between but include Cranborne Common, Gore Heath, and heathland to the east of Sherford Bridge. Alder buckthorn scrub seems to be one of the first plant species to be removed by both conservation agencies, as part of heathland management, and the Forestry Commission, as part of forestry operations.
Walditch, at MV on 9 August 2000 (M Parsons), West Bexington, at MV on 8 August 2003 (R Eden), Portland, on 18 October 1888 (C Dale), Church Ope Cove, at MV on 23 October 1978 (D Brown), Upwey, hibernating in cellar 23 October 1964 (Brigadier H Warry), Durdle Door, at MV on 23 August 1971 (D Brown), Scar Bank, at light on 9 September 1931, 13 August 1932, 26 August 1932, 9 April 1933, 11 August 1947, 29 September 1950 (A Russell).