Season (Adult / Immature):
National Status: Common
Local Status: Common and widespread resident.
Local Record: Grade 1 See here for explanation
Flight time: One generation, May-Aug.
Foodplant: Common Ragwort.
|Year first recorded||1955||2008||1983||1955|
|Year last recorded||2011||2008||2011||2011|
|Number of records||1334||1||160||2990|
|Number of individuals||4152||1||561||9428|
For the region, we have a total of 2990 records from 520 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.
For further information refer UK Moths.
Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species as far north as southern Scotland, the larva feeding on ragwort (Senecio spp.). In Dorset, the moth is common to abundant wherever ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) is found in quantity; this tends to be among dry, chalky and neutral overgrazed grassland, and on roadside verges. An unusual variety was found on Portland by Reverend G Ford where the usual scarlet ground colour was replaced by yellow, ab. flavescens (Ent Rec 67:108). The moth's ability to establish large populations that defoliate ragwort plants plus the fact that the caterpillar is distasteful to birds due to the ingestion and retention of harmful alkaloids, has lead to its adoption and release in North America and Australia as part of initiatives to control the highly toxic plant.