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Lunar Thorn
Selenia lunularia (H?bner, 1788)
Geometridae: Ennominae
1918 / 70.238
Photo © Terry Box,  Lyons Gate - 30 May 2004

Similar Dorset Species
Purple Thorn
Selenia tetralunaria
Forewing: 16-22mm
Flight: May - June
Foodplant:   Ash, Blackthorn, Dog-rose other broadleaved trees
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common / Immigrant
Former Status: Local (Immigrant)
Verification Grade:  Adult: 3

Davey, P., 2009: A local species in Britain, the larva feeding on ash (Fraxinus spp.), birch (Betula spp.), oak (Quercus spp.) and a variety of other deciduous tree species. In Dorset, this early-summer moth forms relatively small colonies very locally in the north and north-west of the county. It is chiefly restricted to deciduous woodland on the ill-drained clay soils across the Blackmore Vale and in woodland on the central and north chalk downs. Records from Melbury Park and Chedington Wood hint at colonisation of woodland on neutral clay soils further west.

Although the moth is single-brooded in the UK, second-brood examples have been recorded at Hurn, two on 19 July 1998 (M Jeffes), and on Portland, 24 July 2008 (M Cade). Continental sources are probable for these individuals, specifically western France and eastern France, respectively.

The moth is rather similar to Purple Thorn. Diagnostics include: single deep scallop on edge of hindwing.

Retained Specimen / Photograph will be Required.

Recorded in 12 (30%) of 40 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1946.
Last Recorded in 2019.
(Data up to end 2019)

Latest 5 Records (Data up to end 2019)
Date#VC10k Area
02/08/2019+9SY39 - Lyme Regis
31/07/2019+9SY39 - Lyme Regis
28/07/201919ST61 - Sherborne
30/05/201919ST61 - Sherborne
24/05/201919ST61 - Sherborne
Further info: Selenia lunularia
UK Moths
Mothdissection UK Dorset Moths (Full)
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