73.052 (2216) The Shark Cucullia umbratica (Linnaeus, 1758)

Resident. Local.
Flight period

Lennon (1863) had found it common at the Crichton Institution, Dumfries, where he worked. Gordon (1913) found it to be common and generally distributed on honeysuckle and valerian during June in Wigtownshire. Earliest date was 10th June 1898 and 1906.
Duncan & Cunningham (1952) in the Transactions under 'Moths taken at Light in 1951 in Dumfriesshire and Eastern Kirkcudbrightshire,' had trapped it several times.
There was a fine series trapped in 1974 at Irvine House Lodge, Auchenrivock (VC72). During 1976-80 just thirteen were recorded from six of the Rothamsted stations, Mabie Forest not recording it. Regular trapping on the Hensol Estate in the early 1980s proved its residency there.
From 1993 to 2010 the regular trapped sites at Kirkton, Durisdeer and Mersehead RSPB provided most of the 75 records in this period, with other records from scattered sites across the region.
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a pupa underground in a cocoon. Larvae are present July to early September, hiding by day and feeding at night.
Larval foodplants
Larvae feed on sow-thistles, hawk's-beards and hawkweeds.
The Shark is larger and greyer than Chamomile Shark and flies later in June. The dark streaks on the forewing do not extend into the fringes and with a whitish hindwing with brown veins should help to separate it. Also, check the hindwing fringing which is only two-toned, pale on the outer edge and a darker inner, compared to Chamomile Shark that has three bands.
Marshes, coastal sand dunes, shingle beaches, gardens and limestone grasslands.
Recorders' notes
Care required to separate from Chamomile Shark. The streaks on that species extend into the fringes of the forewing and the hindwing of the male is greyish with the females being dark brownis grey.
Any May records of The Shark the CMR would like to see the specimen or a quality photo for record acceptance.
© Peter Norman, Mersehead RSPB, 26 June 2010

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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