Noctuidae : Cuculliinae
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Chamomile Shark
Cucullia chamomillae

([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775) 2214 / 73.053
Photo © Paul Wearne Forster

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Cucullia umbratica
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Yorkshire Status: Scarce and local resident.

This is another member of the Cucullinae which is not doing particularly well in the county. The comments below in Sutton and Beaumont from 1979 sound quite upbeat, and after that numbers were good up to 2004 when we had 27 records. Numbers have slowly and steadily fallen since then, and the number of records in recent years has usually been in single figures. This is very much a lowland moth. It likes mayweeds and chamomile in disturbed ground at the edge of arable fields. Perhaps our field margins could do with some widening and a bit less spraying. Do not confuse this species with Shark which is a little larger and flies later, though the flight times can overlap. The black streaks on the forewings extend into the fringes. In Shark they drop short. We receive quite a few records of the distinctive and attractive larva, usually on scentless mayweed or chamomile. It has been lost to many parts of the country but curiously in the east of Scotland it is spreading rapidly.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: This species seems to have become more frequent since the 1970s, especially in the south and east of the County. The foodplants, mayweeds and chamomile are common weeds in some crops on sandy soils, especially brassicae, sugar beet and oilseed rape. This last crop has been planted much more extensively since 1970, which could have affected the frequency of the foodplant and hence the moth (PQW pers. comm.).

Recorded in 77 (39%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1877.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Shark  |  Star-wort >
Forewing: 19-23mm
Flight: April - June
Foodplant:   Scentless Mayweed, chamomiles and Feverfew
Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2
List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
08/07/2023162SE66 - Strensall
05/07/2023164SE36 - Bishop Monkton / Roecliffe
19/06/2023163SK48 - Killamarsh
28/04/2023164SE24 - Bramhope / Otley
27/04/2023163SE23 - Horsforth / Headingly / Pudsey
  Immature   Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
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