73.293 (2198) Smoky Wainscot Mythimna impura (Hübner, [1808])

Resident. Common.
Flight period

Lennon (1863) recorded it from Marchmount (VC72) in 1862. Douglas Robinson (1870-71) had found it common in July on Almorness (VC73). 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) had found it abundant everywhere, giving an early date of 15th June 1899 and a latest of 3rd August 1905.
Archibald Russell (1944) listed it as occurring near Gatehouse of Fleet (VC73) during the years 1942-43. Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn and Castlehill, Dumfries (all VC72).
From the mid 1960s to 1973 there were just fourteen records.
During 1974-92 there were three hundred and fifty records from all seven Rothamsted stations, proving it widespread.
On the Hensol Estate during the early 1980s a fine series was trapped.
From 1987 to 2010 the regular trapped sites at Kirkton, Durisdeer, Cally Woods and Mersehead RSPB provided a good number of the seven hundred records trapped in that period, with the rest from widely scattered sites across the region.
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a small larva, close to the ground, during August to May, feeding by night, with pupation taking place in an underground cocoon.
Larval foodplants
Various grasses.
The straw-coloured forewing with a brown or black streak alongside the whitish central vein, together with the smoky grey hindwing should separate it from other 'wainscots.'
A wide range of grassland, mainly lowland.
Recorders' notes
Care required to separate from other 'wainscots.'
© Keith Naylor, Knowetop Lochs SWT, 1 August 2004

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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