70.275 (1952) Common Heath Ematurga atomaria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Status
Resident. Common.
 
Flight period
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History
The earliest notification of this species is published in Stephens (1829) with the Rev. William Little recording it at Raehills (VC72) stating it to be very common.
 
Lennon (1863) stated it as common everywhere around the Dumfries area. K. J. Morton of Edinburgh (1900) whilst on a visit in July 1899 to Wigtownshire had found this species in the Monreith area. Gordon (1919) found it abundant on all the moors in Wigtownshire. Earliest date was 28th April 1912. Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn, Tynron and Castlehill, Dumfries (all VC72). Archibald Russell (1944) listed it as occurring near Gatehouse of Fleet (VC73) during the years 1942-43.
 
Records from 1960 to 2010 are from widespread heathland/moorland sites across the region, showing that it is a very common day-flying moth.
 
Life cycle
One generation. Active by day in warm weather and easily disturbed from grass or heather. Overwinters as a pupa. Larvae are present from July to September on heathers.
 
Larval foodplants
Larvae feed on heathers, sometimes trefoils, clovers and vetches.
 
Identification
Latticed Heath is similar but that rests with its wings up like a butterfly whereas the Common Heath rests with them flat.
 
Habitat
Heathland and moorland.
© Valerie Harrison, Glenwhan Moor, 24 April 2011
© John Clark, Carsegowan Moss, 22 June 2013

Local distribution map

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Distribution map displays records from the National Biodiversity Network (See terms and conditions).

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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