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Dotted Chestnut
Conistra rubiginea ([Denis & Schifferm?ller], 1775)
Noctuidae: Xyleninae
2260 / 73.197
Photo © Julian Francis

Similar Dorset Species: None
Forewing: 15-17mm
Flight: October - November, and again March - May
Foodplant:   Apple, Blackthorn, Plum, sallows. Other deciduous trees (not well-known in the wild)
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Former Status: Nationally Scarce B
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2

Davey, P., 2009: A local species confined mainly to southern England, the larval foodplant is unknown but abroad the caterpillar has been found on apple (Malus spp.), blackthorn (Prunus spp.), sallow (Salix), oak (Quercus spp.) and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). In Dorset, the moth is at low density across a range of biotypes and soil types. It is most often trapped on clay soil and least on chalky soil (see graphic). One locality favoured by the moth and a potential 'hot-spot' is Furzebrook, where more than one hundred were trapped between 1972 and 1976. This locality is surrounded by damp deciduous woodland, and is situated on clay soils sandwiched between open heathland to the south of Wareham and calcareous grassland on the Purbeck Ridge. The moth was found to be a frequent visitor to ivy blossom at Corfe Castle a few kilometers from Furzebrook and on similar geology; thirty-three moths were observed here between 1891 and 1895. A far more open-habitat locality where the moth is seen fairly regularly (forty-three moths in fourteen out of seventeen years) is West Bexington, a coastal grassland habitat containing an abundance of blackthorn scrub. The records indicate a nine-fold increase in numbers during the spring on average, suggesting perhaps that a large percentage of the population have a post-winter emergence.

There are indications that the moth may be an occasional immigrant to the county. The following examples trapped at light were observed in coastal localities during notable immigration events; the 2000 date is a remarkably late one for this species: Walditch, on 15 March 2002 (M Parsons), Portland, on 21 June 2000, 11 February 2004 (M Cade), Durlston, on 4 April 1999 (S Nash). The moth occurs locally throughout Europe but is absent from southern Iberia.

Recorded in 32 (80%) of 40 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1883.
Last Recorded in 2019.
(Data up to end 2019)

Latest 5 Records (Data up to end 2019)
Date#VC10k Area
29/12/201919SY68 - Weymouth / Martinstown
06/11/201919ST61 - Sherborne
22/04/201919SY78 - Broadmayne
10/04/201919SY79 - Puddletown
22/03/201919SZ09 - Poole
Further info: Conistra rubiginea
 
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