70.205 (1884) The Magpie Abraxas grossulariata (Linnaeus, 1758)

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
























 
History
Lennon (1863) stated it as common all over the country. K. J. Morton of Edinburgh (1900) whilst on a visit in July 1899 to Wigtownshire had found this species in the Monreith area. Gordon (1919) found it common locally in gardens in some years. Earliest date was 3rd July 1911.
 
Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Castlehill, Dumfries. Archibald Russell (1944) listed it as occurring near Gatehouse of Fleet (VC73) during the years 1942-43. During 1964-73 it was recorded from Portpatrick, Burrow Head and Ravenshall (BRC data).
 
Five of the seven Rothamsted stations recorded fifty records between them during 1974-90, Penninghame and Waterside Mains being the odd ones out. Regular trapping at Newton Stewart in 1990 produced a series of records as did Cally Woods from 1998 to 2000, elsewhere, during this period of 1990-2010, of the hundred records or so, most of them were at widespread coastal sites with a few inland.
 
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a small larva during late August to mid-June, with pupation taking place in a cocoon on the foodplant.
 
Larval foodplants
Blackthorn, Black Currant, Garden Privet, hawthorns, Red Currant, spindles and heather.
 
Identification
The large black spots at the costa separate it from Clouded Magpie, the only confusion species.
 
Habitat
Moorland, woodland and hedgerows.
© Keith Naylor, Mersehead RSPB, 22 July 2005
© Valerie Harrison, Stairhaven, 25 June 2011

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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