Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Very rare and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 17-19mm.

Foodplant: Herbaceous plants.

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 recorded19291929
Year last recorded19881988
Number of records1938
Number of individuals2448
Unique positions612
Unique locations612
Adult records1938
Immature records00

For the region, we have a total of 38 records from 12 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1929.


2127 Triple-spotted Clay 01
© David Foot

Species Account

Similar species: 2128 Double Square-spot and 2131 Square-spotted Clay.

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local woodland species in southern Britain, but scarcer further north, the larva feeding on various herbaceous plants before hibernation and the young foliage of shrubs and trees the following spring. In Dorset, the moth was always rare and any news of a surviving colony would be very welcome, as the last county record was more than twenty years ago. The majority of the moths were caught within old damp deciduous woodland on clay and sandy soils. The loss of old oak and birch woodland plus the blotting out of much of its preferred habitat during the last century from the spread of rhododendron and the block planting of conifers are possible factors behind its demise. It may be that the species hangs on still in the fragments of deciduous woodland that remain just to the south and east of Wareham, and on Brownsea Island. Recent initiatives to clear rhododendron from the Arne and the Brownsea Island nature reserves can only benefit colonies that might survive.

See background to species accounts.  Index of Vernacular names - Search - Random Species