73.286 (2167) Tawny Shears Hadena perplexa perplexa ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)

Resident. Scarce.
Flight period

Tawny Shears H. p. perplexa ([D & S], 1775)
Buchanan White of Perth (1895) listed it as occurring in Colvend and Southwick parishes (VC73). Gordon (1913) found the larvae to be common in seed heads and flowers of Silene maritima on the beach below Alticry, Luce Bay, Wigtownshire, on 13th July 1906. One was captured at the Mull of Galloway Light on 26th July 1910.
It was 1972 before it was found again, this time at Portpatrick (VC74).
Subspecies Pod Lover H. p. capsophila (Duponchel, 1842)
Gordon (1913) under Dianthoecia capsophila was informed by Hugh McDowall that he had caught one at Portpatrick in 1886.
In 1994 the only Dumfriesshire record was trapped at Kirkton on 24th July. The only Kirkcudbrightshire records appeared in 2002 at Kirkcudbright and again in 2010 at Old Torr, the first since the 19th century. The rest of the records were from Wigtownshire during 1996 to 2003 at Dunskey, Clanyard, Garheugh, Philip and Mary, Port Kale, Barsalloch Point and Mull of Galloway.
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a pupa in a cocoon underground. Larvae are present late June to August.
Larval foodplants
Bladder Campion, Nottingham Catchfly, Rock Sea-spurrey, Sea Campion and White Campion.
The rather broad squat position of the forewing with a straight costa should initially help identify it.
Dry open sites like field margins and gardens, also coastal. Pod Lover likes rocky coastlines.
Recorders' notes
Waring (2009) states that Tawny Shears just reaches southern Scotland, but most of our later records at least are closer to Pod Lover. One eminent lepidopterist treats it as just one species, there being no visual marks to determine to race, apart from darker colour.
© Keith Naylor, Claymoddie, 21 July 2006
Sub-species Pod Lover, H. p. capsophila

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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