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Ghost Moth
Hepialus humuli

(Linnaeus, 1758) 14 / 3.005
Photo © Aidan Smith,  23 June 2023, VC64, Otley, Male

Immature stages

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Yorkshire Status: Very common and widespread resident.

This is the largest of our Swift moths and is widespread across the county, though numbers seem to be slowly reducing, perhaps due to a lack of "unimproved" grassland. The white and rather ghostly males fly at dusk over grassland in a dancing or "lekking" flight to attract the females which are larger and yellowish-brown. Sometimes large numbers can be seen at dusk, for example counts of over 400 at Northowram in 2010. Both sexes are attracted in small numbers to light traps.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Generally frequent or common throughout the lower land in all five vice-counties, although now less common in the central agricultural areas since ploughing of pastures, and meadows became widespread. It is often taken at light but is frequently seen at dusk flying over grassy places, sometimes in very urban areas such as inner Leeds.

Recorded in 165 (83%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1846.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Gold Swift  |  Goat Moth >
Forewing: M 21-29mm. F 21-35mm.
Flight: June - August
Foodplant:   Grasses, herbaceous plants
Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
BAP Status: Declining Species (BAP R)
Verification Grade:  Adult: 1
List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
16/08/2023163SE03 - Haworth
06/08/2023164SE37 - Ripon
29/07/2023162SE47 - Dalton
29/07/2023161SE94 - Middleton-on-the-Wolds
28/07/2023164SE54 - York (S/W)
  Immature   Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
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