73.053 (2214) Chamomile Shark Cucullia chamomillae ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)

Resident. Rare.
Flight period

Gordon (1913) was informed by Hugh McDowall that he had caught two at Portpatrick (VC74) in 1886. Three were trapped in 1995 at Kirkton (VC72), followed by another two in 1997 one in April the rest in May. On 22nd May 2000 another was caught at Carsfad, near Dalry (VC73). Two were caught at Auchencairn (VC73) in early May 2002 and mid-May 2004. Larvae were found on 26th June 2005 at Garheugh Point, followed by an imago at Forest Moor the following year on 30th April, both Wigtownshire. On 9th May 2006 another was trapped at Milton (VC73).
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a pupa. Larvae are present from late June to early September, feeding at night and hiding by day.
Larval foodplants
Chamomile is virtually absent in the wild in Dumfries & Galloway, so larvae probably feed on the flowers of Scentless Mayweed and Feverfew.
There is confusion with The Shark, which flies later but there is some overlap in the flight time between the species around the latter half of May. The Chamomile Shark is smaller with the black streaks being longer and extending through the termen into the fringe. The hindwing is key, being grey in the male and a darker brownish grey in the female. Also, the fringe has three bands of colour, the outer and inner being pale with a dark one in the middle.
Grassy sites, often with disturbed ground.
Recorders' notes
Take great care identifying this species after mid-May.
© Richard Mearns, Kirkton, 21 April 2011
© Fiona Macfarlane, Rockcliffe, 24 July 2011

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The following datasets are included:

  • Butterfly Conservation - Macro-moth provisional distribution for the British Isles (excluding the Republic of Ireland) from the National Moth Recording Scheme
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