73.045 (2289) Knot Grass Acronicta rumicis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Resident. Common.
UK BAP Priority Species.
Flight period

Lennon (1863) had found the Knot Grass to be common around the Dumfries area where he walked. K. J. Morton of Edinburgh (1900) whilst on a visit in July 1899 to Wigtownshire had found this species in the Monreith area. Gordon (1913) found it to be common and generally distributed coming to sugar in woods and on moors around Corsemalzie. Earliest date was 3rd June 1897 with the latest being 22nd July 1906.
Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn, Tynron and Castlehill, Dumfries (all VC72) and Colvend and Southerness (VC73). Archibald Russell (1944) listed it as occurring near Gatehouse of Fleet (VC73) during the years 1942-43.
There was at Irvine House Lodge, Auchenrivock,a series trapped during 1974, with the Rothamsted stations recording just under ten records during 1974-92, obviously the wrong habitat for this species, but it was trapped on the Hensol Estate, mainly woodland, during the early 1980s.
From 1989 to 2010 there were 120 records from a wide number of sites scattered across the region.

Melanic form ab. salicis Curtis, 1826
The Gordon brothers noted this form as occurring in the Corsemalzie (VC74) area at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries.
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a pupa. Larvae are present August to September.
Larval foodplants
A wide variety of woody and herbaceous plants.
The broken white cross-line at the outer edge of the forewing, together with two white spots a third of the way down from the base of the forewing by the trailing edge is diagnostic.
Grassland, heathland, wetlands and most other open sites, but occasionally woodlands as the specimen depicted.
© Keith Naylor, Black Sea Wood, 2 June 2006
© John Clark, Moffat, 17 July 2014

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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