73.022 (2439) Gold Spot Plusia festucae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Resident. Common.
Flight period

Somerville (1858) on a trip to the Moffat area found it at Kirkpatrick in August of that year. Lennon (1863) stated it was not common but that he had found it near Terregles (VC72). Gordon (1913) found it not uncommon locally around Corsemalzie, Wigtownshire. Occasionally he found it at flowers in his garden and in damp places near the Malzie Burn; it was also common at the loch side at Park Place, Glenluce (VC74). Earliest date was 27th June 1896.
Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) noticed it in his lifetime at Closeburn and Tynron (VC72).
During 1976-82 eleven records was all that was mustered from three of the Rothamsted stations, Waterside Mains at Keir (VC72), Penninghame and Newton Stewart (VC74). In 1982-83 it was trapped on the Hensol Estate (VC73).
It was not trapped again until 1992 when regular trapping at Kirkton found it. From then until 2010 it has been found at annually at a number of sites across VCs 72 and 73, with four records from Wigtownshire at Float Bay, Claymoddie, Forest Moor and Torrs Warren.
Life Cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a small larva during September to May, with pupation taking place in a transparent cocoon that has been spun vertically between the stems or leaves of the foodplant.
Larval foodplants
Larvae feed on sedges and other wetland plants.
Care is required to separate from Lempke's Gold Spot, so use Waring (2009). If in doubt the genitalia will have to be examined.
Most common in wetlands, but can be found in a wide range of habitats.
© Peter Norman, Kirkcudbright, July 2005

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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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