68.001 (1643) Emperor Moth Saturnia pavonia (Linnaeus, 1758)

Status
Resident. Common.
 
Flight period
J F M A M J J A S O N D
























 
History
Lennon (1860) stated he had bred eight on, presumably from larvae he had collected from around Dumfries while out rambling. By 1863, Lennon found it was generally distributed. W. Douglas Robinson (1870-71) had found one larva during August at Cloke Moss (VC73). Gordon (1913) also said it was common and generally distributed on the moors, with males on the wing from 3 pm to 4 pm. On one patch of heather he counted 19 nearly full-fed larvae near Corsemalzie on 18th August 1910. Earliest date was 11th April 1899.
 
MOGBI (1992) records it widespread across the region, and that is still the case during the first ten years of the 21st century. Our larvae records are from mid-June to early September with a pupa record for late April.
 
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a pupa attached to a plant stem at ground level. Eggs are laid in batches, attached to the foodplant. Larvae are present mid-June to early September, resting in groups in exposed situations.
 
Larval foodplants
Larvae feed on heather and other woody plants such as Hawthorn, Blackthorn, sallows and birches. Also Meadowsweet and Bramble.
 
Habitat
Mostly moorland, heathland and bogs.
 
Recorders' notes
Smaller male with feathered antennae easily distinguished from larger female and can be recorded.
Female © Keith Naylor, Rockcliffe, 13 April 2005
© Gavin Chambers, Knockman Wood, 16 June 2009

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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