Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Very common and fairly widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   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 recorded1955200819831955
Year last recorded2011200820112011
Number of records13491952890
Number of individuals4776125610066
Unique positions230116494
Unique locations175113378
Adult records12741942738
Immature records1002

For the region, we have a total of 2890 records from 378 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.


2128 Double Square-spot 02
© Julian Francis
2128 Double Square-spot 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

Similar species: 2127 Triple-spotted Clay and 2131 Square-spotted Clay.

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in Britain, the larva feeding on various herbaceous plants before hibernation and the young foliage of shrubs and trees the following spring. In Dorset, the moth is frequent, locally common, in deciduous woodland throughout the county, but rare or absent in open country. The national norm is for a single brood in June and July, but in Dorset the primary brood is centred on July. Examples of moths in mid-May suggest an occasional partial first brood. Moths noted in mid-August are possibly second brood examples of this secondary brood cycle.

This species is often mistaken for Triple-spotted Clay2127. Diagnostics include: a paler ground colour that is unlike that of the Triple-spotted Clay and Setaceous Hebrew Character2126; an absence of a smoky black suffusion across the upper half of the forewing; pale-coloured stigmata contrasting sharply with 'Double Square-spot'.


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